This Article considers whether the World Court can and should review the validity of acts of the Security Council and General Assembly. Part I argues that the text and negotiating history of the U.N. Charter leave room for the World Court to exercise at least some power of judicial review but do not delineate the precise scope or effect of such review. Part II asserts that the World Court has in fact repeatedly exercised a power of judicial review, albeit deferentially, over acts by the Security Council and the General Assembly. Part III argues that the World Court can review the validity of acts by other U.N. organs without jeopardizing its own legitimacy and explores the proper scope of review in "constitutional" cases.
Finally, Part IV examines the legal effect of a World Court judgment holding another organ's act to be ultra vires. This Part considers whether the text and negotiating history of the U.N. Charter support a "Jeffersonian" model of judicial review, under which the Court's decisions would be binding only on the specific parties and U.N. organs involved in the particular case, or a "judicial supremacy" model, under which the Court's decisions would also be binding on all parties in all future cases. The Article concludes by examining the political ramifications of judicial review by the World Court.
Geoffrey R. Watson, Constitutionalism, Judicial Review, and the World Court, 34 HARV. INT’L L. J. 1 (1993).