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The Jurisdiction of The ICJ Vis-À-Vis the UN Security Council:

An Analysis of The ICJ Decision in the Lockerbie Cases


Author: Neha Biswas, Student (LL.M), WB National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, India

ABSTRACT This article shall deal with the jurisdictional limits on the power of the International Court of Justice highlighting the Lockerbie incident in 1988 and subsequently the Lockerbie cases. The first part of the article shall brief about the different kinds of jurisdiction that the World Court has and their limitations. Further, in the second part of the article, a detailed analysis of the ICJ’s decision in the Lockerbie cases shall be undertaken. The dissenting opinion of the case shall be further analysed, as the dissenting opinions of the respective Judges is another crucial aspect of the case. In this part, the discord or compatibility of the powers of the ICJ and the UN Security Council shall be discussed with respect to the dissenting Judges. In the last part, a conclusion shall be arrived at with respect to the powers of the ICJ and the Security Council with respect to certain cases which are of a political character. This part shall highlight the opinion of the author regarding such cases. The Lockerbie cases, being one of the landmark cases in the jurisprudence of international law development is of prime importance to any person interested in the international law arena. The case puts forth a strong message as to the jurisdictional interface of the powers of the ICJ- a judicial body and the UN Security Council- a political body, an area seldom discussed by law makers.

Keywords: International Court of Justice, UN Security Council, Lockerbie cases, International law, Jurisdiction.

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