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1920- The League of Nations establishes the International Court of Justice in The Hague

December 13, 2022

The prospect of a global court that could levy punishment on sovereign nations is a relatively new system that's barely a century old. By the end of the nineteenth century, the world's strongest countries had established colonies worldwide. This created the need to govern people living in these colonies, governing that sometimes meant war with control of the seas around them. As new countries acquired power, wars increased as many local citizens didn't want foreign rule. Thus, by 1900, some started talking about ways to hold countries who were aggressors accountable.

Before there was an International Court of Justice, disputes between nations had no means of holding countries accountable for their leader's actions. But who would run such a court? No international organizations like the U.N. would give such a court credibility as some countries like the United States wanted to stay out of the war. This would change when the Great War (known posthumously as World War One) broke out in Europe in 1914.

By the time the U.S. entered the war in 1917, fighting had stalled across a vast western front. World One was almost over, and the allies felt they needed a way to hold Germany accountable. Meanwhile, President Wilson pushed to create an international organization that could be a foundation for an international court, in part to punish Germany. Hence, the League of Nations was created as part of the Treaty to end the war. As outlined in his Fourteen Points speech, President Wilson's vision for world peace created the League of Nations. On December 13, 1920, The League of Nations created the International Court of Justice in The Hague.




  2. Pat Hintz

    Why isn’t the International Court of Justice being used to prosecute Putin fir war crimes??


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