Procedural law of the International Court of Justice: revision

Available in Russian

Author: Sergey Punzhin

DOI: 10.21128/2226-2059-2019-2-62-76

Keywords: conditions of revision; International Court; new fact; procedural law; revision; Rules of Court; Statute of the Court


The procedure for the revision of the Court’s decision consists of two parts: first, the Court must decide on the admissibility of the request for revision and, secondly, if the answer is in the affirmative, it proceeds to the merits of the request. The jurisdiction of the Court in revision cases is based directly on its Statute and exists in so far as the Court has previously rendered a judgment in regard to a dispute between States. Article 61 of the Statute sets out the conditions for the admissibility of an application for revision, which are cumulative, i.e. if any one of them is not met, the application must be dismissed. The main condition is the discovery of a new fact of such a nature as to be a decisive factor for the outcome of the case. The fact which can justify the revision of a judgment of the Court can correspond to an objective state of events, a situation or a circumstance, as reflected in certain documents. These documents do not constitute “facts” in and of themselves but, rather, they are evidence of the existence of a fact or are data carriers containing information about this fact. The condition to be met in order for the fact to be considered a decisive factor is whether the original judgment would have been materially different if the fact had been known at the time when that judgment was rendered. Such a fact must have existed at the time when the judgment was delivered but been discovered only subsequently. Ignorance of the fact should not be a consequence of negligence, which is determined by reference to whether a State has acted in accordance with the principle of due diligence. A request for revision must be made within six months of the discovery of the new fact and before the lapse of ten years from the date of the judgment the revision of which is being sought. A finding that the request for revision is admissible indicates that there are imperative reasons to change the decision rendered previously because, in light of the newly discovered fact, this decision can no longer be considered to have been validly reached.

About the author: Sergey Punzhin – Ph.D. in Law; Principal Legal Secretary of the Court, Head of the Department of Legal Matters, International Court of Justice, The Hague, Netherlands.

Citation: Punzhin S. (2019) Protsessual'noe pravo Mezhdunarodnogo Suda OON: peresmotr resheniya [Procedural law of the International Court of Justice: revision]. Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, vol.9, no.2, pp.62–76. (In Russian).


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