Jurisdiction : the Court settles disputes if it exists between subjects of international law that have access to the it (locus standi or jurisdiction rationae personae) + if the parties have consented to its jurisdiction (jurisdiction rationae materiae) => binding decision
Access to it : States (and not organizations, individuals,...) being party to the Statute of the Court (de facto UN member States, + other States if they fulfill the conditions) the day the dispute is submitted to the Court (exception : Croatia vs Serbia : condition fulfilled at the time of judgement)
Consent : only if access to it !
the dispute can be of any relevant subject (territorial, maritime, environmental,..), but we need the consent of the parties
=> 1) Special agreements => be concluded prior to the moment the Court is seized of a dispute (terms notified to the Court; State A / State B whatever the support...; sometimes interpretation is needed : UK/Albania) confers jurisdiction to the Court (primary condition for the Court to exercise its judicial function) and they can define the limits of it, but not the judicial function itself (operative parts, ex Burkina Fasso/Niger)
2) Compromissory clause (facult.) : art 36 : ICJ jurisdiction is open to all matters. Often we insert a reference to ICJ in treaties in advance but with compromissory clause in order to settle disputes relating to the interpretation or application of the provisions of the treaty. Court will not have jurisdiction non matter which is not in the treaty (ex : Bonia-Herzegovinia and Croatia for Genocide convention). Compromissary clause are inserted to say which condition should be met (or not) (ex : negociation first) before going in front of ICJ especially for multi-subject treaties (multi-lateral for instance). If the econdition are not met => no jurisdiction (ex : Georgia and Russia racial discrimination but ICJ had no jurisdiction to settle the dispute and Georgia failed to seek to settle by negociations = conditions)
Resort to negociation => notice a dispute exists, encourage mutual agreement, indicates the limits of consent given by the States
3) Forum prorogatum : a way to consent to the jurisdiction of the Court when a dispute already exists=< the registry transmits the application to the State against which it is made (+ General list of the Court) . It can consent or not and the way to accept it = forum prorogatum (Djibouti and Ccongo against France)
4) Optional Clause (art 36) = the declaration by which States recognize as compulsory the jurisdiction of the Court. Mut be deposited with the Secretary-General of UN. States may accept it unilaterally by a declaration, in any time (for all or for certain disputes by reservations, ex : those arose after a certain date, exclude maritime dispute). If another State does it (the same obligation) : there is a jurisdictional link between them and the ICJ is mandatory for them.
=> 2 conditions : same clause and ICJ accepted on both sides
The objet of reservation is reciprocal (A cannot ask ICJ if he has refused it!!!)
A state can accept the clause if B & C accept it (condition), and also only for a period (ex : 5 years renewable)
Automatic reservation in a optional clause : exclusion of domestic jurisdiction because it is up to the Sate to determine the issue. (Norway against France; Norway avail the automatic clause of France)
Optional clause must be interpreted from the text AND from the context (Spain vs Canada, Australia vs Japan)