On 14 May 2019, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with the judge of the International Court of Justice, Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade, for a discussion on Latvia’s cooperation with the International Court of Justice.
In the meeting, Edgars Rinkēvičs expressed his conviction that the International Court of Justice as the principal and highest judicial organ of the United Nations (UN) was an indispensable monitor of international law and the rule of law, which dealt with disputes between member states in the field of public law. It is essential for small countries that an international authority exists in the monitoring of the implementation of law and in dispute settlement. Therefore, the work and competence of the International Court of Justice is of high importance to Latvia as well. Edgars Rinkēvičs voiced an opinion that budgetary ceilings must not influence the performance of international courts, including the UN’s International Court of Justice.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs also spoke about Latvia’s preparations to recognise the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, as on 30 November 2017 the Parliament of Latvia passed a law whereby Latvia recognises the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. Consequently, the Cabinet will soon decide on the declaration referred to in the Statute of the International Court of Justice, which will be then deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) was established on 18 April 1945 in The Hague, Netherlands. The Court has jurisdiction in two types of cases, firstly, legal disputes submitted to it by States and, secondly, requests for advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies. Rulings by the International Court of Justice are binding on the States parties to the proceedings.
The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected for terms of office of nine years (eligible for re-election) by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. The judges may not hold any other post during their time in office.
Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (born (1947-09-17)17 September 1947) was elected as judge on the International Court of Justice in 2009 and re-elected for his second term in 2018. Prior to his appointment to the International Court of Justice, he was president and judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Cançado Trindade has also worked as a diplomat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil. He holds PhD in International Law (1977) from the University of Cambridge. During his career, Cançado Trindade has been active in the academic circles: he has taught at Columbia University, the University of Brasilia, the University of Paris, the Hague Academy of International Law, and other academic institutions. The judge is the author of 710 monographs and the author and co-author of more than 50 books on international law, published in numerous countries and several languages.
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