Inside the World Court: A Conversation with H.E. Judge Joan E. Donoghue, International Court of Justice

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H.E. Judge Joan E. Donoghue has been a member of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, since 9 September 2010. Prior to her ICJ appointment, H.E. Judge Joan E. Donoghue was Principal Deputy Legal Adviser in the U.S. Department of State (2007-2010), in addition other roles such as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Freddie Mac, and Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Treasury. In this blog post, H.E. Judge Joan E. Donoghue discusses the work of the Court and some challenges to public international law. On the work of the Court and public international law What do you see as the biggest challenges for Court in the coming years? In the decades since the ICJ was created, other forms of international dispute settlement have emerged and have thrived. Notable examples are the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization, investor-state arbitration and the revitalization of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. These institutions can learn from each other, borrowing and adapting successful procedures. The ICJ must be open-minded about possible changes in established practices that would increase the vitality of the Court. On the substance of our work, we cannot expect every Judge and all observers to agree with the Court’s conclusions in each case, but we must always strive to demonstrate fairness to the parties and rigor of analysis in our decisions, bearing in mind not only the implications for parties, but also the role that our decisions inevitably play in the development of international law. The ICJ...