ICJ extends submission deadline for Advisory Opinion on climate change

Photo: Fiji Government

A new timeline has been approved by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for written statements and comments on the landmark Advisory Opinion on the legal responsibilities of countries fighting climate change.

United Nations member states and organisations have ten months, until 22 January 2024 to submit written statements to the ICJ Secretariat in The Hague.

ICJ President, Joan Donoghue further allowed a three-month extension to 22 April 2024 for countries to submit written comments on written submissions by other States and organisations.

On 24 July 2023, Vanuatu’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations supported by the 14 co-signatory States to the Advisory Opinion, requested an extension of three months to the original submission deadline, which was set at 20 October 2023 by the ICJ.

Vanuatu’s request was supported by the Commission of Small Island States on Climate Change and International Law and the Chile Mission in New York, in letters dated 28 July 2023 and 31 July 2023, respectively.

The ICJ Registrar, Phillipe Gautier responded on 04 August 2023 confirming the new time limits – giving States and organisations a ten-month breathing space to compile their written submissions.

Vanuatu’s Mission in New York was pleased with the announcement, tweeting, “This will be a boon to the many States with little or no experience before the ICJ, and assist many others as they draft submissions and prepare to engage in the proceedings.”

Pacific Island Climate Action Network said, “Great news for countries intending to make submissions to the ICJ for the Advisory Opinion on Climate Change. Extensions have been granted for these submissions.” The new time-limits will allow States and organisations to submit written and oral statements by 22 January 2024 – and given another three months until 22 April 2024 to reply and comment to other states and organisation’s submissions.