The International Commission of Jurists, or ICJ was founded in Berlin in 1952. The ICJ has long been hailed as the pre-eminent legal non-governmental organisation in the world, and is amongst the world’s leading human rights NGOs generally. ICJ distinguishes itself through an impartial, objective and authoritative legal approach to the protection and promotion of human rights through the rule of law.
The ICJ holds consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council; the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation; the Council of Europe; and the African Union. ICJ also maintains co-operative relations with various bodies of the Organisation of American States.
ICJ’s key role in the region is evidenced by its official status in the Constitution of Papua New Guinea as an advisory organisation to PNG’s Courts when determining whether or not any law, matter or thing in PNG is “reasonably justified in a democratic society that has a proper regard for the rights and dignity of mankind” – i.e. whether it is Constitutional.
The ICJ’s central Commission is composed of sixty eminent jurists who are representatives of the different legal systems of the world. Based in Geneva, the International Secretariat is responsible for realising the aims and objectives of the Commission. The International Secretariat today benefits from a network of 82 autonomous national sections and affiliated legal organisations in 62 countries across Africa, Asia/Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Latin and North America, and the Caribbean.