The article examines how the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has dealt with the concept of peoples and peoples' rights in its jurisprudence. Most prominent has been the Court's role with respect to the right of self-determination and it is this issue that forms the core of the article. A second important question dealt with is the role of indigenous peoples in ICJ case practice, as the struggle by those peoples to gain collective rights is a recent development in international law. Drawing on this analysis, the discussion proceeds to consider the role that the ICJ has played in the development of the rights of peoples in general and what its future role might be in this sphere of international law. The article also examines the way in which the Court has allowed peoples to participate in its proceedings and whether and how its treatment of peoples' rights has strengthened the general foundations of international law.