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VI Incidental Proceedings, 13 Provisional Measures

From: The International Court of Justice

Hugh Thirlway

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 25 January 2021

Preliminary proceedings — Interim and provisional measures

This chapter looks at provisional measures. Provisional measures in international judicial proceedings are indications, by the court seised of the matter, of action to be taken, or not to be taken, by one or both of the parties during the period leading up to the decision. Their precise justification in International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisprudence are examined further in this chapter. Their purpose, however, may be said to be to prevent one party pre-empting the settlement of the dispute by unilateral action, thus rendering the eventual judgment ineffective; or, more broadly, to prevent unilateral action that might make it more difficult to achieve a settlement. The French term ‘ mesures conservatoires ’ conveys this meaning better than the English term ‘provisional’; and the expression, formerly used in the English text of the Rules of Court, ‘interim protection’ (1946 Rules, Article 61) was, from this viewpoint, also perhaps more appropriate.

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