International Court of Justice

International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice serves as the primary judiciary organ of the United Nations. Established after the WW2 and being the successor to the Pernament Court of International Justice, it provides a forum for States to peacefully resolve disputes with each other through International Law. Furthermore, it plays a key part in interpreting and developing International Law, as it’s already decided cases serve as guidance for further decisions. 


ICJ Topics

“Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation)” and
“Legal Consequences Arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem “

Topic 1: Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation)

On 24 January 2022, the Russian Federation began its invasion and occupation of various parts of Ukraine in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict which started in 2014 with the annexation of Crimea. This escalation came after the Russian Armed Forces had been amassing troops and military equipment along the Russo-Ukrainian border for months, although Russian officials repeatedly denied any plans of attack. This invasion has instigated an international crisis, most notably between the USA and Europe on the one hand, and Russia on the other, and has been met with widespread international condemnation.
“Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v Russian Federation)” is a case submitted before the International Court of Justice by Ukraine two days after its invasion by the Russian Federation. According to Ukraine, the dispute arises on the basis of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as a result of the justification of its invasion which Russia has offered – namely, the latter accuses Ukraine of engaging in certain acts of genocide against the people of the Luhanks and Donetsk regions. Ukraine, on the other hand, has rejected these claims, and has asked the ICJ to establish that the Russian Federation has falsely accused it of acts of genocide, and that the former has no legal basis to take any action against Ukraine.
This “special military operation” which is meant to “demilitarise” and “denazify” Ukraine, as maintained by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his top officials, is, more than any other conflict we have seen in modern history, characterised by an information war waged by all sides. Disinformation has been spread with regard to the activities in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, (alleged) human rights violations, war crimes, as well as Ukrainian and NATO aggression. This case will therefore present you with a unique element to international law and thus reflects perfectly the types of challenges and solutions which this year’s theme “Beyond Truth: Mastering the Paradox of Information” aims to tackle.

Topic 2: Legal Consequences arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

The UN General Assembly issued Resolution A/RES/77/247 on December 30, 2022, which contained the annual condemnation of Israeli conduct in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. Furthermore, the resolution includes a new appeal to the ICJ for an Advisory Opinion on the following issues:
(a) What are the legal consequences arising from the ongoing violation by Israel of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, from its prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and from its adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures?
(b) How do the policies and practices of Israel referred to in paragraph 18(a) above [the previous paragraph] affect the legal status of the occupation, and what are the legal consequences that arise for all States and the United Nations from this status?
Question (a) refers to violations of fundamental precepts of the law of occupation, such as prolonging despite the transitory nature of occupation and annexation notwithstanding the notion that occupation cannot produce unilateral sovereignty. It also refers to violations of particular specified requirements of the law of occupation that, as asserted, result in the weakening of the same fundamentals, such as settlement and discriminatory activities, in specific circumstances. In light of current legal and political discourse, the authors of the request appear to have a clear goal: for the ICJ to not only find Israel in violation of the principles guiding an occupation regime but to declare the Israeli occupation unlawful. And Question (b) unambiguously requests to characterise the regime as a whole and establish the legal implications of such characterisation.
The legal implications of the definition “illegal occupation” rather than a de facto annexation, may be more difficult to determine. The doubt has already emerged as a result of the 2004 Advisory Opinion, which concluded by declaring the construction of the wall in occupied territory illegal and noting nations’ responsibility not to recognise the illegal situation that has resulted from it, nor to aid in its maintenance. However, it did not specify the implications of each of these requirements.

Meet the Chairs!

Lara Simonovski

Hi everyone!

My name is Lara and I will be one of your ICJ chairs this year! While I am originally from Slovenia, I have lived in the Netherlands for the past 12 years and now I study International and European Law at the University of Groningen. Besides my main area of studies, I have also completed a degree in Philosophy of Political Science, and am generally interested in international relations and social justice.

My MUN journey started in 2016 when I attended a conference in Munich with my school. I found the experience to be incredibly enlightening – I learned a variety of skills in diplomacy and debating, and it gave me the confidence to think of myself as capable of having an active role in society. Since then, I have been a delegate, a chair, and last year I was even on the TEIMUN Board of Directors. Now, I am beyond excited to continue this journey on the TEIMUN Secretariat’s team of chairs and to meet you all at this year’s edition of the TEIMUN Conference this summer.

Fun fact: If I hadn’t studied law and philosophy, I would have studied Latin – I even took Latin extracurricularly for a semester.

Yoana Nikolova

Hello everyone! My name is Yoana Nikolova. I am a second-year International and European Law student in Groningen, the Netherlands. Originally from Bulgaria, I wouldn’t describe myself as patriotic unless I hear music from home. I love writing and am proud of the fact that I am a published author of two novels. I am also currently doing a Board year in a student association. Ganymedes is the oldest LGBT association in the Netherlands and as their Commissioner of External Affairs, I have worked and travelled around the Netherlands to organize events for the student body. I am a passionate debater, being a president of a debate club, travelling Europe to participate in MUNs and even working briefly for the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Fun Fact: My favourite accessory is a bow and I have one in each colour and almost all nuances.

Join the ICJ at TEIMUN 2023

Join ICJ at TEIMUN 2023