Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Victor Kattan


This Article examines the claim that United Nations (UN) membership will improve Palestine's ability to have recourse to international courts and tribunals. With the exception of seeking an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) upon a referral from the UN General Assembly or as a result of a request from a specialized agency, Palestine must be a state in order to become a party to the ICJ in a contentious case and in order to accede to the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Because admission to the UN is based on the assumption that the entity seeking membership is already a state, should Palestine succeed with becoming a member of the UN, it would greatly enhance its capacity to challenge Israel's frequent transgressions of international law. This is because UN membership would provide compelling evidence that Palestine is a state. And as a state, Palestine would be able to accede to the statutes of both the ICJ and the ICC.