- Membership of international organizations — International organizations, practice and procedure — Responsibility of international organizations — International courts and tribunals, powers
The International Court of Justice advisory opinion of 8 July 1996 that responded to a request from the World Health Organization contains important guidance on the delimitation of competence and co-ordination of international organizations, in particular those forming part of the UN system. The Court held by eleven votes to three that it did not have jurisdiction to give the advisory opinion ‘which was requested of it’. The opinion marks an important step in the Court’s jurisprudence in that it focusses not on an expansion of competence of international organizations as previous ICJ jurisprudence, but rather on the limits of this competence. The opinion is a succinct reminder of the tension between the goal to effectively and efficiently ‘divide labour’ between the mandates of the UN and the specialized agencies and the relative lack of mechanisms to enforce this division of labour.
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