Participation of non-state actors in ICJ proceedings

Yaël Ronen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This article examines the participation in ICJ proceedings of non-state actors, and particularly non-state territorial entities and NGOs, from both a doctrinal and a practical perspective. An evaluation of the practice of the ICJ against the framework of its Statute sheds light on the ICJ's openness to the expanding variety of actors in the international arena, as well as on the characteristics of such actors that inform the Court's policy. The study reveals remarkable flexibility on the part of the ICJ in allowing participation of NSAs in advisory opinions involving territorial entities aspiring to statehood or of otherwise indeterminate territorial status, but resistance insofar as concerns other participation of NSAs. The article proposes a framework for understanding the practice of the ICJ, based on the nature of the NSA, the content of the dispute, and the procedural requirements of justice.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)77-110
Number of pages34
JournalLaw and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • International Court of Justice (ICJ)
  • advisory opinions
  • amici curiae
  • non-state actors
  • quasi-states


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