Justice Update – All you need to know about ICJ Advisory Opinions

Molly and Stephanie covering the ICJ at the Peace Palace press room.

The International Court of Justice has not one, not two, but three requests for Advisory Opinions pending. It’s an unprecedented number for the court, which usually issues around one or two Advisory Opinions every ten years.

So what is an Advisory Opinion, why are there suddenly so many requests at the ICJ and why do they matter?

This week, friend of the pod and Courthouse News international law reporter Molly Quell takes over the Asymmetrical Haircuts hotseat and joins Stephanie and Janet for a deep dive into Advisory Opinions.

We get the 101 on what ICJ Advisory Opinions actually are with the help of Assistant Professor of International Human Rights Law at Trinity College Dublin Michael Becker and look at how the process works inside the court with ICJ legal officer Solveig Henry.

Molly also takes a look at the three pending Advisory Opinion requests. Two requested by the United Nations General Assembly, one on climate change and the other on Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory. The third made by the International Labour Organization on the right to strike.

We hear from Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh, Associate Professor of Sustainability Law at Amsterdam Law School and Vanuatu’s lead counsel on the climate change case. Vanuatu is asking the ICJ to clarify the legal obligations of all countries to prevent and redress the adverse effects of climate change.

Molly also speaks to Professor of Public Law, Keith Ewing of King’s College London, an employment law expert, who summarizes what’s at stake for the International Labour Organisation on the question of the right to strike.

She also gets comment from the Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad al-Maliki on why an ICJ Advisory Opinion is important, given that Israel has ignored previous opinions.

And in this week’s recommendations, Molly points to one of her favourite cases, the numerous trials of former EU Health Commissioner John Daly, accused of an alleged fraud attempt involving a Swedish smokeless tobacco company. Molly also recommends the space western audio drama podcast Midst, which she has recently been enjoying.