The ICJ consists of 15 judges who will examine 2 cases concerning legal disputes between member nations. Each case will be argued by advocates representing the parties to the dispute. Each party in each case will be represented by no more than 2 advocates. The Court may also be called upon by any of the other UN organs to give an advisory opinion on a point of international law.


The judges and the advocates are independent lawyers and not members of any country delegation, though the advocates may consult the delegation whose country they are representing. Advocates may also be called upon to act as judges in the alternate case. Applications are sought from outstanding students of sound academic ability, with a capacity for independent research, a good knowledge of international affairs and MUN experience. An interest in law would be an advantage but applicants are not expected to be legal experts. In their letter of application, as well as outlining their qualifications and experience, candidates must state whether they are interested in being a judge or an advocate and suggest which particular case they would be more interested in, preferably giving a reason for their choice.

 

As advocates need to prepare and work as a tandem, applications for these positions will only be considered when at least two applications come in from students of the same school or living in the same city.

 

Once selected, the judges and advocates are expected to make a special study of the Statute, Rules of Court and procedures of the International Court of Justice and Robert Stern’s Briefing Guide for participants in the THIMUN ICJ. Both judges and advocates are also expected to research the particular cases before the ICJ.

 

For the general rules and procedures regarding individual applications, please see this page.