Special Agreement Between

States do not have permanent representatives accredited to the Court. They normally communicate with the Registrar through their Minister of Foreign Affairs or their ambassador accredited to the Netherlands. If they are parties to a case before the Court of Justice, they shall be represented by a representative. An agent plays the same role and has the same rights and duties as a lawyer or solicitor before a national court. However, since international relations are at stake, the agent is also, so to speak, the head of a special diplomatic mission empowered to commit a sovereign State. He shall receive communications from the Registrar on the case and shall transmit to him all briefs and pleadings duly signed or duly certified. At public hearings, the officer opens the reasoning on behalf of the government he represents and files the applications. In general, if a formal act is to be carried out by the government represented, it is performed by the agent. Officers are sometimes assisted by co-agents, assistant agents or auxiliary agents and always have lawyers or lawyers whose work they coordinate to help them prepare briefs and the hearing. In the absence of a special bar association of the International Court of Justice, there are no conditions that must be met by lawyers or lawyers in order to have the right to plead before it, with the sole exception that they must have been appointed by a Government to do so.

A special convention must never weaken the protection created by the Geneva Conventions. Humanitarian organizations may use this system of special agreements to draw up contracts governing their operation in a given country and concluded with the competent authorities of that State. 6 Agreement establishing a transition process and confidence-building measures between Belize and Guatemala, 7 February 2003, www.oas.org/oaspage/eng/documents/belizeguatemala_eng.pdf. The date of opening of the procedure, i.e. the receipt by the Registrar of the individual agreement or application, marks the opening of the procedure before the Court of Justice. The proceedings at issue include a written stage during which the parties submit and exchange pleadings containing a detailed description of the facts and legal elements on which each party relies, and an oral phase consisting of public hearings during which representatives and lawyers address the General Court. Since the Court has two official languages (English and French), everything written or said in one language is translated into the other. Pleadings shall be made available to the press and the public only at the opening of the oral proceedings and only when the parties have no objections. A case may be closed at any stage of the proceedings by a settlement between the parties or by a dismissal. In the latter case, a requesting State may at any time notify the Court that it does not wish to continue the proceedings, or both parties may declare that they have agreed to withdraw the case. The Court of Justice then referred the case back from its list.

The Un General Assembly and Security Council may request advisory opinions on “any question of law”. Other United Nations agencies and specialized agencies authorized to seek advice may do so only with respect to “legal issues arising in the course of their activities”. . . .