Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case could be one of the rare cases before the International Court of Justice, which often sees matters related to maritime and territorial dispute. The ICJ yesterday stayed the execution of Jadhav, sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court which said he was an Indian spy. Currently, there are 15 cases, including Jadhav’s, before the ICJ. Of these seven are about maritime and territorial dispute. An information officer at the ICJ told PTI the number of cases at The Hague was increasing steadily, but did not give figures. “Since the ICJ has almost a universal jurisdiction, we get a varied number of cases, but most of these matters relate to land and sea boundary,” the official said.
For instance, there is a maritime dispute between Nicaragua and Costa Rica in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. A similar dispute over maritime boundary in the Indian Ocean is pending with the court involving Somalia and Kenya. The question of delimitation of the continental shelf between Nicaragua and Colombia beyond 200 nautical miles from the Nicaraguan coast is also awaiting a decision. There are also cases such as Iran instituting proceedings against the United States with regard to a dispute concerning alleged violations of the 1955 Treaty of Amity.
The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations with a seat at the Peace Palace in The Hague in the Netherlands. It began work in 1946, when it replaced the Permanent Court of International Justice which had functioned in the Peace Palace since 1922. The court is composed of 15 judges elected to nine-year terms of office by the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council. Elections are held every three years for one-third of the seats, and retiring judges may be re-elected. The members of the Court do not represent their governments but are independent magistrates. An Indian judge, Justice Dalveer Bhandari, is among the the judges at the ICJ.