The International Court of Justice (ICJ), or the World Court as it is more popularly known, is the highest court (at least in theory) in the world. Part of the United Nations (UN), the ICJ is based at The Hague. Its purpose is the pacific settlement of disputes between nations.

Human history is replete with situations—economic, political, and military—in which nations disagree, frequently resulting in war, with all of its attendant horrors of death and destruction. A number of attempts to address this situation were made, with some limited success, with the formation of temporary tribunals to handle specific situations. However, it was recognized that a permanent organization to address disputes between nations was needed.

In 1899, at the initiation of Czar Nicholas II of Russia, ...

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