International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and operates from The Hague in the Netherlands. It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946. Composed of 15 judges, the court’s role is to settle legal disputes, known as contentious cases, submitted to it by UN member states in accordance with international law. Examples of contentious cases on which the ICJ rules include territorial and border disputes, questions of diplomatic relations, and the legality of the use of force by one state against another. The court also gives advisory opinions, known as advisory proceedings, on legal questions referred to it by other UN organs and specialized agencies. ICJ's work most frequently touches on religion as it relates to broader human rights issues.