HC Deb 13 December 1999 vol 341 c19W
Mr. Mitchell

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs under what international agreement the International Court of Justice at the Hague would act in respect of action taken by armed military force of the European Union. [101896]

Mr. Vaz

As is the case with the Western European Union, the European Union would, if new crisis management arrangements are agreed, only use force if it would be lawful under international law.

The International Court of Justice can exercise jurisdiction only if the States concerned have both accepted the jurisdiction of the Court. This can be done by an ad hoc agreement; by being parties to a treaty which confers the necessary jurisdiction on the Court; or by matching acceptances of jurisdiction under Article 36 of the Statute of the Court.

The EU, like the WEU, is not itself subject to the jurisdiction of the Court. Only States are subject to it.