The distance between the preliminary objections phase and the merits phase: the two cij judgments in the certain iranian assets case of 2019 and 2023



In principle, the ICJ remains a legal body and is therefore supposed to express a unified and coherent vision. Nevertheless, it is composed of men, and its decisions are sometimes conditioned by changes in the majorities within it. This article aims to shed light on the relationship between the two ICJ judgments in the Certain Iranian Assets case of 2019 and 2023. The analysis carried out suggests that a change in the composition of the Court between the preliminary objections phase and the merits was probably behind a different approach to the test that was applied in order to analyze the nature of a state-controlled enterprise. This evolution between the two phases of the case opens up interesting questions concerning the principle of res judicata.

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