International Court of Justice: The Role of Consent in the Context of Judicial Propriety Deconstructed in Light of Chagos Archipelago

In: The Law & Practice of International Courts and Tribunals


This article examines the notion of consent as an element of judicial propriety as defined by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the context of its advisory function. The article situates the issue of judicial propriety within a broader conversation on the Court’s normative outlooks in international law, and examines the most recent advisory opinion on the Chagos Archipelago to understand how the Court itself views its role in international law. The article concludes that the Court’s advisory opinions do not provide much clarity as to the circumstances in which a lack of consent will become a compelling enough reason to justify a refusal to give an advisory opinion. The Court appears to ritually recite consent as a relevant element in its assessment of judicial propriety, however, it continues to limit such relevance.