IILJ Emerging Scholars Paper 4 (2007)

All Things Considered: How the International Court of Justice Delegated its Fact-Assessment to the United Nations in the Armed Activities Case

Simone Halink

This article argues that in the case of Armed Activities (DRC v. Uganda), the International Court of Justice fails to observe the evidentiary methodology set out in its basic documents and caselaw. By relying heavily on UN documents, the Court is de facto delegating its fact-assessment task to UN agencies, putting an essential judicial function into jeopardy. In light of the increasingly fact-intensive cases facing the Court, this article suggests four ways in which the fact-finding practices of the Court can be improved: a UN fact-finding standard operating procedure; a particularized approach towards evidentiary rules with an emphasis on co-operation between parties; the establishment of pre-trial chambers; and the appointment of Special Masters.