Power to indicate provisional measures to preserve the rights of parties to a dispute pending a court’s decision constitutes an integral part of the competence of international judicial bodies. The purpose of these provisional measures, which are binding, is to protect parties’ rights and to prevent actions that could prejudice the subject-matter of a dispute to such an extent that the eventual decision of the International Court of Justice, whatever its substance might be, would be deprived of meaning. Provisional measures may be indicated only if the Court has prima facie jurisdiction. A finding regarding the existence of such jurisdiction is not final and may be changed in a subsequent phase of the proceedings. Admissibility of claims on the merits is not considered to be a condition for the indicating of provisional measures and examination of this issue may be justified only if it is raised as an argument against the provisional measures themselves.
About the author: Sergey M. Punzhin – Candidate of Sciences (PhD) in Law, Legal Officer in the Registry, the International Court of Justice