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A Heartfelt Commitment to the International Rule of Law? The United Kingdom and the International Court of Justice

Barelli, M. ORCID: 0000-0001-6650-7232 (2023). A Heartfelt Commitment to the International Rule of Law? The United Kingdom and the International Court of Justice. Netherlands International Law Review, 70(2), pp. 143-170. doi: 10.1007/s40802-023-00237-1


The UK proudly describes its longstanding commitment to the International Court of Justice as a sign of its broader commitment to international adjudication and, in turn, the international rule of law. This article calls into question this narrative suggesting that, despite official pledges and rhetoric to the contrary, the UK cannot be said to have truly accepted the authority of the Court to scrutinize its conduct, nor to have consistently acted in a manner that is respectful of that institution. To the extent that the UK wishes to present itself as a genuine supporter of the international rule of law, this article posits that it should reformulate its approach to the Court with regard to both its contentious and advisory jurisdictions.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Publisher Keywords: International Court of Justice; Optional Clause; UK Declaration; Advisory Opinion; International Rule of Law
Subjects: J Political Science > JX International law
K Law > KD England and Wales
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
SWORD Depositor:
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