Leiden Journal of International Law


The Protection of Human Life Through Provisional Measures Indicated by the International Court of Justice

Yoshiyuki Iwamoto (Lee)  1

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Recently, the ICJ appears to have been taking into account the protection of human life in its indication of provisional measures. This raises the question of how and to what extent the human life element influences the criteria for indicating provisional measures. After considering the meaning of ‘irreparability’ in the Court's jurisprudence, the author analyzes recent case law in the light of a link between irreparable harm and those rights of the parties that constitute the subject matter of the dispute in judicial proceedings. In conclusion, the author criticizes the Court's recent approach towards indicating provisional measures, as it raises some problems concerning jurisdiction, as well as the binding character and the nature of provisional measures.

Key Words: International Court of Justice; provisional measures; LaGrand; Breard; irreparability.


1 LL.M., Leiden University, The Netherlands; B.L., LL.M., Kobe University, Japan.The author would like to express his gratitude to Prof. Dr H.W.A. Thirlway, his thesis supervisor at Leiden University, and Mr A.A. Foster, Faculty of Arts at Leiden University, for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article. The usual disclaimers apply.