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German Government strengthens international law

30.04.2008 - Press release

The German Government has just strengthened international law and the international courts by officially recognizing the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. Germany may thus now be a party to any dispute before the Court brought by or against another state that has also declared its acceptance of the Court's compulsory jurisdiction.

After obtaining the approval of the Cabinet, the Federal Foreign Office will tomorrow (1 May) deposit a declaration with the Secretary-General of the United Nations in New York accepting the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in accordance with Article 36 (2) of the ICJ Statute.

Germany will be the 66th state to recognize the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ. From now on, if Germany is involved in any international dispute over which the Court has jurisdiction, Germany may bring an action against or be sued by any other state that has made an equivalent declaration. This was previously only possible in the event of disputes based on international treaties that expressly named the ICJ as the competent court, or disputes that the parties thereto had especially agreed to submit to the ICJ. Germany has not accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the court for disputes relating to military operations abroad or the use of German territory for military purposes.

By accepting the Court's jurisdiction in this way, the German Government is strengthening international law and the international courts.

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