Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law Logo Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

You are here: Publications Archive World Court Digest

World Court Digest

III. The International Court of Justice
4.2. Res judicata / Effects of Judgments

¤ Military and Paramilitary Activities
(Nicaragua/United States of America)
Merits. J. 27.6.1986
I.C.J. Reports 1986, p. 14

[pp. 174 S.O. Ruda] I fully agree with the statement of the Court in paragraph 27 that a State party to proceedings before the Court may decide not to participate in them. But I do not think that the Court should pass over in silence a statement whereby a State reserves its rights in respect of a future decision of the Court.

Article 94, paragraph I, of the United Nations Charter says in a clear and simple way: "Each Member of the United Nations undertakes to comply with the decision of the International Court of Justice in any case to which it is a party."

No reservation made by a State, at any stage of the proceedings, could derogate from this solemn obligation, freely entered into, which is, moreover, the cornerstone of the system, centred upon the Court, for the judicial settlement of international disputes. The United States, like any other party to the Statute, is bound by the decisions taken by the Court and there is no right to be reserved but the right to have them complied with by such other parties as they may bind.

[p. 198 S.O. Sette-Camara] We should abide by the categoric provision of Article 59 of the Statute, which confines the binding force of the res judicata to the parties in the case, and consequently bear in mind the fact that the expansion of the effects of the Judgment, so as to affect a third party, constitutes a departure from the general rule, and, like any exception, must therefore be founded in indisputable evidence.