[MUNUC 36] International Court of Justice, 1948 ICJ

GROUP: Specialized Agencies

  • Topic A: Conditions of Admission of a State to Membership in the United Nations (Article 4 of the Charter)
  • Topic B: Asylum (Colombia v. Peru)

TOPIC A Conditions of Admission of a State to Membership in the United Nations (Article 4 of the Charter)

TOPIC B Asylum (Colombia v. Peru)



  • Henry Hong (he/him)
  • Rodrigo Caridad (he/him)
Email Committee Chair

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. The ICJ was established in 1945 by the UN Charter and began work in 1946 as the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice which was dissolved following the establishment of the ICJ. The purpose of this court is to settle disputes between states in accordance with international law and give advisory opinions to help establish certain international legal issues. The rulings produced by the ICJ help to serve as primary sources of international law. The methods of meditation of the ICJ in which we will focus on are contentious issues and advisory opinions. With contentious issues being ones in which the ICJ’s decision is binding between the states involved. While advisory opinions function to give legal advice to specified United Nations bodies and agencies rather than between aggrieved states.  

Topic A: Conditions of Admission of a State to Membership in the United Nations (Article 4 of the Charter)

Following the creation of the United Nations, twelve states applied for admission with all of their applications being rejected by the Security Council as a result of a veto imposed by at least one of the permanent members of the Council. In response to the rejection of these applications, a proposal was made to admit all the candidates at the same time which would circumvent the Security Council. This question required the interpretation of Article 4 of the UN Charter, thus resulting in the General Assembly referring the question to the International Court of Justice. This would be the first instance of the ICJ giving an advisory opinion and it is the ICJ’s job to analyze the UN Charter, these unsuccessful applications, and the proposal in order to advise the General Assembly in its admission of all future states. 

Topic B: Asylum (Colombia v. Peru)

In 1949, the Colombian Embassy in Lima, Peru granted diplomatic asylum to Victor Raúl Haya de la Torre, a Peruvian national who was a political leader who was accused of spurring a military rebellion. Peru attempted to challenge Colombia’s asylum status of Haya de La Torre at the International Court of Justice on the basis of the Pan-American Havana Convention on Asylum created in 1928 which created the framework in which asylum could be granted by a foreign embassy to a political refugee who was a national of the territorial State. It is up to the ICJ to settle this dispute between Colombia and Peru, to interpret the Pan-American Havana Convention on Asylum, and determine the fate of Haya de La Torre.