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Senior officials from top international courts brief UN General Assembly

The presidents of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] and the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website; JURIST backgrounder] briefed [press release, UN News Centre report] the UN General Assembly [official website] Thursday, providing information on cases decided and currently in deliberation before the courts. ICJ President Judge Peter Tomka praised the court's activities over the past year, stating that the court, "continued to fulfill its role as the forum of choice of the international community of States for the peaceful settlement of every kind of international dispute over which it has jurisdiction." According to the press release the ICJ is currently deliberating three cases, a maritime dispute involving Peru and Chile, an interpretation of a 1962 judgement in the case concerning the Temple of Preah Vihear between Cambodia and Thailand, and the case concerning whaling in the Antarctic between Australia and Japan, with New Zealand intervening. In addition, ICC Judge and President Sang-Hyun Song briefed the General Assembly on the eight situations currently being heard before the Court concerning Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Central African Republic (CAR), Mali, Kenya, Ivory Coast, the Darfur region of Sudan and Libya.

Earlier this week the appeals chamber of the ICC dismissed [JURIST report, judgment] the application for interim release by former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo [BBC profile]. Also this week the prosecutor for the ICC asked [JURIST report] the court to set aside their decision [press release; JURIST report] earlier this month allowing Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta [official website; JURIST news archive] not to be present for his whole trial on charges of crimes against humanity. In June The ICJ began public hearings [JURIST report] in the ongoing legal dispute between Australia and Japan over Japanese whaling near Antarctica. Australia argued [AFP report] at Wednesday's hearing that Japan is in violation of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling [materials] by continuing to hunt whales as scientific research in spite of a ban on commercial whaling by the International Whaling Commission [official website].

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