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Only rarely does an international judicial opinion attract attention on the front pages of newspapers around the world, and spur activism-or condemnation-from diverse segments of global civil society. The advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is such a case. As the Court recognized in addressing the question put to it by the United Nations General Assembly, the choice of the term "wall" to designate the subject matter of the proceeding already opens up an area of debate, since not all of the contested structure is a wall in the physical sense. The Court chose to follow the lead of the General Assembly on this terminological question, as well as on other matters. By a 14-1 margin, the Court found the construction of the wall in the occupied Palestinian territory to be contrary to international law and declared that Israel is under an obligation to cease its construction and dismantle it forthwith.


International Humanitarian Law | International Law | Law


© 2005 American Society of International Law. This article has been published in the American Journal of International Law and is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use.