The ICJ advisory opinion on the wall
The Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) from 9 July 2004 on the legal consequences of the construction of a Wall in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) stated that the wall built on West Bank land including East Jerusalem, is illegal.
The ICJ was requested by the UN General Assembly to issue an advisory opinion and decided by 14 votes to 1 to comply with that request.
Although an advisory opinion in itself is not binding on the parties to the conflict, such an opinion is highly regarded as it comes from the most distinguished legal body in the world. An advisory opinion does not create law, but it does summarize existing law, for instance what can be considered customary law.
The court found unanimously that it had jurisdiction to give an advisory opinion according to its own regulations.
Read more about jurisdiction
The court considered that the construction of the wall and its associated régime create facts on the ground that could well become permanent, in which case it would be the same as de facto annexation, forbidden under international law.
Read more about annexation
The court mentioned the risk of alterations to the demographic composition of the oPt by reinforcing the illegal Israeli settlements which also violate IHL.
Read more about settlements
The court repeated that legislative, and administrative measures, taken by Israel as the occupying power which have changed or declared the change of status of Jerusalem are not valid since they violate international law.
Read more about Jerusalem
The court ruled that both the Hague Regulations and the Fourth Geneva Convention as well as human rights law are applicable to the oPt.
Read more about the Hague Regulations
Read more about the Fourth Geneva Convention
Read more about human rights law
The court stated that Israel is under an obligation to immediately terminate its breaches of international law; to cease the works of construction of the wall being built in the oPt including in and around East Jerusalem; to dismantle the structure placed; and to cancel all legislative and regulatory acts relating to the wall; and to make reparation for all damages caused by the wall.
The court added that all states are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction; in addition states parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention are under the obligation to ensure Israel's compliance with IHL as embodied in that convention.
The court noted that the UN, and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, should consider what further action is required to bring an end to the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated regime, taking due account of the present advisory opinion.
UN Register for damages caused by the wall
According to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of July 2004 the UN should consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated régime, taking due account of the present advisory opinion.
The UN General Assembly Resolution ES-10/15 from 20 July 2004 in its article 4 requested the Secretary General "to establish a register of damage caused to all natural or legal persons concerned in connection with paragraphs 152 and 153 of the advisory opinion;"Read more about the UN Register for damages caused by the wall