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  • Writer's pictureREET PARIHAR

Means to settle International Dispute”


To understand the process of settling conflicts in the international substructure, one must first understand what the term "disputes" means. The dispute can be interpreted in a variety of ways, making it difficult to provide a precise definition. In its most basic form, it refers to a conflict between two people over a point of law or fact. The involved parties must have opposing viewpoints for there to be a dispute.

A disagreement between two parties can occur on two grounds: political or legal. The distinction between the two becomes critical because the procedure for resolving disputes established by International Law only addresses legal disputes.

The term "dispute" in international law must be interpreted narrowly because it refers only to legal disputes. In International Law, there are two methods for resolving legal disputes: amicable or pacific means of resolution and coercive or compulsive means of resolution.

According to Article 2(3) of the UN Charter, "All Members shall settle their international disputes peacefully in such a manner that international peace, security, and justice are not jeopardized."

According to Article 33 Of the UN Charter.

The parties to any dispute, the continuation of which is likely to jeopardize their maintenance of international peace and security, shall first seek a solution through negotiation, inquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, recourse to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice,

When the Security Council deems it necessary, it may request that the parties settle their disputes through such means.


  • Pacific ways of resolving the dispute

Chapter VI (Articles 33-37) of the United Nations Charter, titled Pacific Settlement of Disputes, establishes additional obligations of the parties as well as various dispute resolution powers of the Security Council. Any state may bring any dispute to the recognition of the Security Council or the General Assembly under Article 35.

According to Article 36, the SC may, at any stage of a dispute whose continuation is likely to jeopardize international peace or security, suggest appropriate procedures or methods of adjustment; doing so, the SC should keep in mind that legal disputes should, as a general rule, be referred to the International Court of Justice by the parties.

Article 37 states that if the disputing parties of the nature referred to in Article 33 fail to settle it through the means specified in Article 33, they must refer it to the SC, which, if it believes that the dispute's continuation is likely to jeopardize the maintenance of international peace and security, must decide whether to take action under Article 36 or to recommend such terms of settlement as it deems appropriate.

Article 38 states: "Without prejudice to the generality of Articles 33 to 37, the SC may, if all disputing parties so request, offer suggestions to the parties with a perspective to a peaceful settlement of the dispute."

  • Negotiation:

This is considered the oldest and simplest method of resolving disputes. When a dispute arises among two or more states, they strive to negotiate for the matter to be settled to avoid the possibility of war or violence. The negotiation will be conducted solely by the political representatives of the disputing countries, with no involvement from a third or unconcerned country.

When the disputing parties States are unequal, the small state' must obey the 'big state’s decisions. In 1974, India and Sri Lanka used negotiation to resolve their boundary dispute. India and Pakistan used the negotiation method to settle their pending border dispute at the Simla Conference in 1976. The Farraka Barrage gunfire incident between India and Pakistan

  • Good-offices:

Good offices refer to the act or arrangements made by a third party to bring disputant parties together for negotiation or to settle a disagreement between them through any peaceful means. In the case of Good-offices, the third-party party merely renders services to bring the disputing parties to peace by providing full means of dispute resolution. In this case, the third party does not make any suggestions or participate in the meetings between the disputant parties.

The good offices of Australia's Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, were rejected by India for the resolution of the Kashmir issue. The Security Council has made numerous appointments in the past. McNaughton in 1949, Dixon in 1950, Graham in 1951, and Jarring in 1957 were a few examples.

  • Mediation:

The act of a third party participating in discussions and making recommendations to resolve a conflict between two parties is referred to as mediation. In other words, mediation is a method of resolving a dispute in which a third party actively participates in discussions or negotiations held between the disputing parties to resolve the dispute. In the case of mediation, the mediator should take into account the parties' willingness to compromise rather than encouraging strict adherence to the letter of the law.

A well-known example of mediation is when Soviet Premier Kosygin signed the Tashkent Agreement in 1966, which resolved a conflict between India and Pakistan.

  • Inquiry:

The inquiry is the process by which a commission of imperial investigators ascertains the facts of a dispute. This method is intended to ascertain the legal and mixed legal and factual issues at stake in a dispute. The commission's sole function is to bring to light the facts that are the root cause of the alleged dispute, as well as to investigate the legal issue and mixed questions of law and fact. The Hague Conference in 1899 gave birth to this procedure for resolving international disputes. It was suggested that states who were unwilling to settle their disputes through negotiation could resort to the process of inquiry.

  • Conciliation

Conciliation is the procedure of referring a dispute to a commission, which investigates the facts and prepares a report with proposals for resolving the dispute. In the event of conciliation, the commission has two tasks: first, it must verify the facts of the dispute, and second, it must prepare a report outlining the possible measures to resolve the dispute. However, the commission's proposals are not legally binding on the parties. The proposals may be rejected by the parties.

The following are the most important treaties that have been signed through the Conciliation Commission:

• Pacific Settlement (1948)

• The Bogota Pact (1948)

• The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (Vienna Convention)

  • Arbitration:

Arbitration is the process of referring a dispute to a body of people or a tribunal for a legal decision by mutual consent of the parties. The consent of the disputant disputing parties is a necessary component of arbitration. In other words, the parties' willingness to refer the conflict to a Court of Arbitration is dependent on their sweet well. The Permanent Court of Arbitration is a court of arbitration recognised by international law. However, it is neither permanent nor a court.

India and Pakistan reached an agreement to refer the Kutch conflict to an arbitral tribunal.

  • Judicial Settlement:

Judicial Settlement refers to the process of resolving a dispute by the International Tribunal by the provisions of International Law. In international law, there is a judicial organ known as the International Court of Justice for judicial settlement. Both the arbitral tribunal's award and the International Court of Justice's decision fall under the purview of Judicial Settlement. The consent of both parties is required in case of referring the dispute to the International Court of Justice, just as it is in the case of arbitration. The International Court of Justice shall conduct its proceedings in line with the rules of international law, and its procedure is governed by the statute known as the Statute of the International Court of Justice.

  • Security Council:

A dispute may be resolved by the Security Council, the United Nations' principal organ. The Council is composed of fifteen members. Five of the members are permanent, while the remaining ten are non-permanent. The Council has been given broad powers for resolving disputes that threaten global peace and security. The Council intends to take several steps toward resolving the disputes.

  • The General Assembly

The General Assembly is also another important organ of the United Nations. The Assembly does not have a specific means of resolving the dispute; rather, it has broad powers to do so. It has the authority to debate and propose better methods for resolving disputes peacefully. It has broad powers to discuss the matter under Article 11 para 2 and may offer suggestions to the parties in dispute under Article 14 that may assist them in reaching peaceful and respectful conclusions.

The Committee was successful in drafting a declaration that was to be adopted by the assembly in 1982. The declaration was termed the Manila Declaration. The declaration stated that the states must seek any peaceful means of resolving a dispute in good conscience and with a cooperative spirit. It also stated that the states were free to make full use of the United Nations.

  • Compulsive or coercive means:

To resolve the issue, this method may occasionally involve the use of force and pressure. In this method, force does not refer to the size of armed forces, but rather to methods other than war.

  • Retortion

Retortion is based on the tit for tat principle and is also a synonym for retaliation or the technical term. It is an act performed by one state like that performed previously by another state. Such acts done by the States are not illegal but are allowed under International Law. Although the method of implementation may appear unfriendly, it is an effective tool for law enforcement.

In December 1992, two Pakistani High Commission officials were declared persona non grata by India, and Pakistan expelled three Indian officials and declared them persona non grata as well. Pakistan's action can be described as retorsion.

  • Reprisals:

The term "reprisals" refers to the use of coercive measures by a state to obtain redress. As a result, the primary goal of the retaliation is to compel the delinquent State to stop the wrongdoing, pursue it, or both. If a dispute arises as a result of an unjustified or illegal act by one of the states, the other state may take any violent measure against that state to settle a dispute. Reprisals were previously limited to the seizure of property or persons but later expanded to include other methods such as bombardments, the occupation of a state's territories, the seizure of ships, the freezing of its citizens' assets, and the taking of any kind of property belonging to it.

  • Embargo

The embargo is a Spanish word. It is also a form of retaliation. Normally, it refers to detention. However, in international law, it refers to the detention of ships in port. If a ship belonging to a State has committed an international tort or some other international wrong and is obtainable in the maritime borders of the State against which the tort or wrong has been committed, the other State has the right to prevent such vessels from travelling through that area.

  • Intervention

Intervention by one state in the affairs of another is a method of resolving disputes. It is worth noting that since the establishment of the United Nations, states have been significantly discouraged from taking compulsive actions to settle international disputes. Any action that is likely to jeopardise or jeopardise peace and security has been declared illegal. As a result, the coercive measures are legal as long as they are capable of preserving international peace. As a result, intervention is considered illegal and unjustified.

  • Pacific Blockade:

When a state's coast is blocked by another state to prevent the ingress or egress of vessels from all nations through the use of warships and other means toto exert economic and political pressure on that state, the act is referred to as blockade. When used during peacetime, it is referred to as a pacific blockade. The essential requirements are that the blockade is declared and notified, as well as that it be effective. In terms of the validity of the pacific blockade, there was a difference of opinion among jurists in international law, but since the establishment of the United Nations, the use of the pacific blockade has become illegal because it poses a threat to peace and security. Collective blockades are not legal when used under the authority of the Security Council.

It was applied against Iraq in 1990.

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