Article 60 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice stipulates that in the event of a dispute as to the meaning or scope of a judgment, the latter may be interpreted by the Court. The purpose of the interpretation is to clarify the content of the judgment rendered and not to adjudicate upon the dispute de novo. In the process of interpretation the Court cannot pronounce on questions which were not submitted for its consideration within the framework of the original dispute, the decision on which is the subject of the request for interpretation. In the interpretation, the Court must remain strictly within the framework of the original decision and can neither question the binding provisions contained therein nor give answers to questions on which the Court did not speak in the original decision. When interpreting a judgment, the Court must clarify the points which were decided with binding force, i. e. the operative part of the judgment. In this regard, the reasoning of the judgment may be taken into account only in so far as it is inseparable from the operative part. A request for interpretation gives rise to a new case. It is entered in the General List under a separate number that is distinct from the number of the original case. The Court’s practice in procedural
matters in delivering an interpretation is not uniform and depends on the circumstances of the particular case and on at what stage the Court would be sufficiently informed for making a decision.
About the author
Sergey Punzhin- Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D. in Law); Legal Officer in the Registry, International Court of Justice, Hague, Netherlands.
Punzhin S. (2017) Protsessual’noe pravo Mezhdunarodnogo Suda OON: tolkovanie resheniya [Procedual law of the International Court of Justice: interpretation of a decision]. Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, no. 2, pp. 49–63. (In Russian).
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