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World Court Digest

III. The International Court of Justice
3.3. Judges ad hoc

¤ Arrest Warrant of 11 April 2000
(Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Belgium)
Judgment of 14 February 2002

[p. 101 S.O. Bula-Bula] 3. In doctrine, judges ad hoc have the particularduty of contributing to an objective and impartial establishment of the facats and of presenting the conception of the law held by each party to the dispute1. In Judge Lauterpacht’s view, an ad hoc judge has an obligation to «endeavour to ensure that, so far as is reasonable, every relevant argument in favour of the party that has appointed him has been fully appreciated in the course of collegial consideration and, ultimately, is reflected – though not necessarily accepted – in any separate or dissenting opinion that he may write» 2.

4. Fulfilment of such an obligation does not in any sense assimilate a judge ad hoc to a representative of a State3. Further, his is in no sense a national representation but a „national presence“4, which is, moreover, a permanent one for the permanent members of the Security Council. J.G. Merrills takes the view that the institution of judge ad hoc „provides an important link between the parties and the Court“. In these circumstances, „the institution of the ad hoc judge reflecting, as it does, ‘the incidence of metajuridical considerations in the functioning of international adjudication‘ is perhaps still too useful to be dispensed with“5.

1Footnote omitted.
2Judge Lauterpacht, separate opinion appended to the Order of 17 December 1997 in the case concerning Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Croatia v. Yugoslavia),I C.J. Reports 1997, p. 278.
3See the communication of E. Lauterpacht, „The Roe of ad hoc Judges“, in Increasing the Effectiveness of the International Court of Justice, 1997, p. 374.
4See the commentary of Krzystof Skubiszewski, ibid., p. 378.
5J. G. Merrills, International Dispute Settlement, 3rd edition, 1998, p. 139.