In order for the International Court of Justice to be able to entertain a counter-claim, the latter must come within its jurisdiction and be directly connected with the subject-matter of the principal claim. As to the possibility of different bases of jurisdiction with regard to the principal claim and the counter-claim, the character of the act which establishes the Court’s jurisdiction in relation to the principal claim is decisive. The Court’s finding of jurisdiction concerning a counter-claim has the force of res judicata. A direct connection is assessed in fact and in law in the context of the circumstances of a case. In deciding whether or not a direct connection exists, the Court has taken into account a range of factors: the geographical area and time period to which the alleged facts relate; the nature of these facts; applicable rules of international law; and the legal aims pursued by the parties. If a counter-claim meets the criteria of jurisdiction and direct connection, it becomes part of the proceedings.