International Court of Justice

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The Court has had its seat in the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands) since 1946. Its predecessor, the Permanent Court of International Justice, occupied from 1922 the same premises, made available to it by the Carnegie Foundation, which owns and administers the Peace Palace.

Built between 1907 and 1913 for the Permanent Court of Arbitration thanks to a donation from Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish-born industrialist who made his fortune in the United States, the Peace Palace is situated in seven hectares of parkland in the heart of the city.

The granite, sandstone and red brick building designed by the French architect Louis Cordonnier and topped by an imposing roof of greyish slate is in a predominantly neo-renaissance style. The facade, overlooking the lawns, features a series of figures that evoke justice and peace. On the left, the clock tower with its chimes rises to a height of 80 metres. Inside, woodwork, stained-glass windows, mosaics, tapestries and art objects presented by the States which participated in the Hague Peace Conferences reflect the diversity of the world’s cultures.

A new wing built in 1978 behind the Palace accommodates the Court’s Deliberation Room and the offices of its Members. It was extended in 1997, notably to house the increased number of judges ad hoc. That same year, the attic of the Palace was renovated to provide new offices for Registry staff.

The Palace, which, along with the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Court of Justice, is home to one of the world’s largest libraries of public international law (the Peace Palace Library, which is public, unlike the Court’s library) and hosts the summer courses of the Hague Academy of International Law, can be visited on working days.

A museum of the history and work of the institutions housed in the Peace Palace was inaugurated in May 1999 by Mr. Kofi Annan and Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, respectively United Nations Secretary-General and President of the Court at that time. It is situated in the southern wing of the building.


For more information on the guided tours of the Peace Palace and its Museum, please visit the website of the Carnegie Foundation: www.vredespaleis.nl . The Foundation can also be reached by phone ( +31 (0)70 302 41 37), fax (+31 (0)70 302 42 34) and e-mail (guidedtours@planet.nl).

For more information on the Peace Palace Library, please visit its website: www.peacepalacelibrary.nl

For more information on the Permanent Court of Arbitration, please visit its website: http://www.pca-cpa.org

For more information on the Hague Academy of International Law, please visit its website: www.hagueacademy.nl