limitations of existing courts
For citizens of most countries in the world, there has not been any real international forum for an individual to uphold their human rights against a country that is violating those rights. Generally, individuals of most countries have not had any International Court to turn to for enforcement of their human rights within their own country. Furthermore, there has never been any international forum for citizens of one country to enforce their rights against infringement by a foreign country (outside of their regional treaty system, if any).
- The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)
UNHRC allows claims by individual or private victims only after “exhausting domestic remedies” in country courts. However, it is not a judicial body, and takes only “advisory” and mediation measures, lacking any enforcement power.
- The International Court of Justice (ICJ)
ICJ has jurisdiction only for countries to bring claims against other countries, and does not permit individuals to file a claim against a country for human rights violations.
- The International Criminal Court (ICC)
ICC has jurisdiction only for “war crimes” and related offenses, and is not a forum for any claims by individual victims of human rights violations in private cases.
- The European Court of Human Rights
Allows only EU citizens to file claims only on violations by EU countries (the Russian Federation is included), but only after “exhausting domestic remedies” in country courts.
- The Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Theoretically this court allows citizens of any country to petition, but only on violations by South American countries, and only after “exhausting domestic remedies”. Another limitation is that claims must be referred to the Court either by a member country or through its Commission, which mostly takes only “advisory” and mediation measures.
- The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Allows only citizens of African Union countries to file claims only on violations by African Union countries, but only against countries which have agreed to that “option”, and only after “exhausting domestic remedies”.
The traditional human rights Courts and international law Courts are based upon the “treaty principle”, by which countries agree to voluntarily submit to the jurisdiction of the Court. While the treaty-based charter system allows for the easy creation and immediate official funding of a Court, it is severely limited by allowing countries to avoid its jurisdiction at their will and convenience.
Although a treaty-based charter is one way to establish a Court of international Justice, it is certainly not the only way. Specific provisions of international law, enacted by the UN General Assembly as binding upon all UN member countries, fully authorize and empower an independent non-governmental Court to exercise universal jurisdiction over all matters of international law.
The Arbitration Court of International Justice (ACIJ) is not founded upon a treaty-based charter, but rather upon a juridical charter as an official non-profit institution licensed to operate as a non-governmental Court of Law. Its foundation and infrastructure fully satisfy the 3 essential criteria noted previously, triggering its autonomous statutory authority as a Court of international Justice, with full judiciary and enforcement power under international law:
- have official licensed status as a non-governmental Court from a national Ministry of Justice of a UN member country,
- have formal UN registered status as an NGO, and
- have an infrastructure and foundational basis which is fully consistent with all details of the relevant body of international law.
Accordingly, ACIJ can effectively exercise jurisdiction over claims by individuals and private parties against country governments, their agencies and officials, and issue judgments which are binding and enforceable against all parties ruled to be guilty of human rights violations.