International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It adjudicates legal conflicts between states concerning international peace and security, in accordance with international law. Moreover, the ICJ also gives advisory opinions to authorized United Nations organs. The ICJ is not a criminal court and has no authority to judge individuals. This year at JMICJ we will be adjudicating the case between application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Croatia v. Serbia).
Main members of the ICJ are the President, Vice President, Registrar and the Judges. The ICJ is composed of 15 judges who are elected by the General Assembly or the Security Council, and assisted by a Registry. Each member of the ICJ has another duty to fulfill during the conference. The President and the Vice President have to moderate the process and the court. They can also act as a judge. The registrar too performs all duties of a judge, but he/she is also responsible of marking and holding the pieces of evidence presented. Furthermore, the registrar is obliged to get the witnesses to the court and make them swear to tell the truth in front of the court.
The Judges are the final deciders on the case. They do represent neither a delegation's opinion nor any other authority's. They are obliged to listen both sides carefully and come up with a fair final verdict.
The court contains two advocate parties. The Applicant party is represented by the advocates of the member state who submits the case to the court; and the Respondent party is represented by the advocates of the country who is taken to the court by the Applicant side. Advocates are the main participants in the ICJ. They need to be organized and well prepared. They must present their cases elaborately and must not contradict themselves. Advocate parties are required to write a memorandum, create a witness list, and gather real evidence to support their case. During the conference their responsibilities are; questioning the witnesses, presenting the pieces of evidence and answering any and all questions directed by the judges.
During the conference, members of the court try to resolve the conflict between two states by evaluating the pieces of evidence presented by the advocates. The court commences with the presentation of the memorandums of the advocate parties. A Memorandum includes relevant facts and requests of the advocates from the court. After the memorandums, stipulations, which are certain facts both sides agree on, are presented to the court. The Stipulations have to be presented before the opening statements. After that, the Applicants present the first opening statements, and the Respondent follows the same procedure. Later on, pieces of evidence get presented and the interrogation of the witnesses takes place. On the last day of the ICJ, firstly the applicant, then the respondent party present their closing statements and conclude their cases. At the end, judges deliberate and decide upon a final verdict.