lecture, held in Convocation Hall at Osgoode Hall late last month, was a
discussion of ICJ processes and the role it plays in the peaceful settlement of
said he was "truly grateful for the opportunity" to speak in Toronto to members of the legal community.
always been a pioneer in the development and promotion of international law,
setting a commendable example for other nations," he said. "Canada
recognizes the usefulness of the international dispute resolution mechanisms."
pointed to the formation and promotion of the International Criminal Court as
an example of Canada's
leadership on the world stage.
in Zhejiang, China,
in 1926, Shi holds a bachelor's degree in government and public law from St. John's University
in Shanghai and a master's degree in
international law from Columbia University in New
York. In addition to holding numerous research
positions in international law, he has also taught at several universities in China.
ICJ was formed in 1946 as the principal judicial organ of the
United Nations. Its seat is at the Peace Palace in The
Hague. The court is composed of 15 judges, each
elected by the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council.
Only a single judge of any particular nationality may be included at any one
time, which is why it is often referred to as "the world court."
is especially true of today's court," said Shi. "Court members come from Brazil, China,
Egypt, France, Germany,
Japan, Jordan, Madagascar,
. . ."
members of the court do not represent their governments, but sit as independent
magistrates. Each must possess the qualifications required in their respective
country for appointment to the highest judicial office, or be jurists of
recognized competence in international law.
explained the dual role of the ICJ. It settles "contentious cases" in
accordance with international law. These are legal disputes submitted by
states. The court is also asked to give advisory opinions on legal
questions referred to it by duly authorized international organs and agencies.
These are known as advisory cases.
said the court's broad jurisdiction and dual role in contentious and advisory
cases is what differentiates it from other international tribunals.
is very interesting to note the relationship that exists between the court and
the Security Council," he said. "The Security Council can recommend the states
submit their disputes to the court. The Security Council may take appropriate
measures to ensure compliance with the decisions of the court."
said it is true in the past that the ICJ has been criticized for the length of
time it takes to decide cases. Generally, it only decides one to three
contentious cases a year.
criticism is not justified in my opinion," said Shi. These proceedings take
time because of the procedures and various jurisdictions involved, he said. "In
recent years, the court has taken a full review of its operations and as a
result has introduced mechanisms to enhance its internal functions."
72nd biennial conference of the International Law Association will be held in Toronto from June 4 to 8,
2006, and attendees at Shi's lecture got a sneak peek at some of the planned
programming and social activities.
Leon, co-chair of the event, stated that he is looking forward to hosting the
spring conference. "It really is a special opportunity for us to participate in
these types of programs right here in Toronto,"
Rothstein, president of The Advocates' Society, agreed and added, "The
Advocates' Society is delighted and honoured to have had a hand in planning
this very special program."
more information on the conference, visit www.ila2006.org.