Al-Qahtani, Mutlaq Majed
Enforcement of international judicial decisions of the International Court of Justice in public international law.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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Enforcement of international judicial decisions of the International Court of
Justice has suffered serious negligence in public international law. Thus, the first
significance of this thesis lies in dearth of the authoritative legal literature on this
topic. Bearing in mind the unprecedented increase interest in international dispute
settlement which can be explained by the phenomenon of proliferation of
international judicial bodies and in the qualitative and quantitative nature· of
contentious disputes brought before the ICJ, non-compliance with the judicial
decisions of the Court is definitely to increase. This study has explored the problem of
non-compliance with and enforcement of the judicial decisions of the ICJ; a problem
that now exists beyond any doubt as Chapter 1 of this study exposes. However,
enforcement cannot be directly made without some initial and critical scrutiny into the
legal foundations of the bindingness and enforceability of these judicial decisions
normally the rules of pacta sunt servanda and of res judicata, to which Chapters 2
and 3 are devoted. Similarly, the problem of non-compliance with and enforcement of
judicial decisions should not usefully be considered in the abstract. Thus, Chapter 4
elucidates the legal nature and the scope of judicial decisions that are subject to
Article 94 (2) of the UN. Charter provides no exclusive authority for the
Security Council to be the ultimate and sole enforcer of the judicial decisions of the
I CJ decisions nor is there a straightforward and independent enforcement means of
international obligations especially those derived from international judicial decisions.
Hence, this study explores and involves various players and invests various means to
establish a network of enforcement mechanisms available to all States regardless of
their position in the international community. In so doing, the rest of the thesis is
devoted to judicial enforcement and institutional enforcement respectively. Chapter 5
examines judicial enforcement through the ICJ itself, while Chapter 6 examines the
role of domestic courts of States in this process. Injured State could also seek
institutional enforcement. Chapter 7 examines the role of the United Nations, while
Chapters 8 and 9 deal with the role of regional organisations and specialised agencies
in this process respectively. Notwithstanding the indispensability of judicial and
institutional enforcement, they are not always successful or predictable or
independently adequate. They may fail to be effective or incapable of inducing a
defaulting State to comply with its international legal obligations under the judgment
of the ICl So, proposals have been advanced to mitigate or to contain this problem.
These proposals, however, have suffered from a lack of support in law and practice,
and thus other alternative recommendations and suggestions are provided in Chapter
10, which presents also the final conclusions of this study.
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