Rules of Court


Various rules of court can be viewed as the general guidelines for the proceedings of a court. These rules cover a range of topics, from the examination of witnesses to providing information relevant to the case, to the use of time limits. These guidelines also address the use of the jury and the formation of a Chamber.

Procedures for forming a Chamber

Creating a Chamber in a court is an interesting concept. It can be of interest to a state that must submit a dispute to the court. However, it is only allowed under exceptional circumstances. It requires the consent of all parties.

A Chamber of the Court is a temporary court that is constituted by the Supreme Court. The chamber’s members sit in all phases of a case until the conclusion. These chambers have been formed for a number of cases, including the delimitation of maritime boundaries between Mauritius and Maldives in the Indian Ocean, the conservation of swordfish stocks in the south-eastern Pacific Ocean, and the free movement of persons between the UK and France.

Examining witnesses

Depending on the circumstances, witnesses may be called to testify or cross-examined. When a party calls a witness, the attorney for the party requesting the appointment is the advocate. The purpose of the ‘examination-in-chief’ is to elicit facts from the witness to support the party’s theory of the case.

If the testimony of a witness is challenged, then the state can impeach the witness by asking leading questions. This strategy can be effective in challenging a witness’s memory, ability to communicate, or perception of the event. Depending on the situation, the witness may be re-examined on new matters that come out during cross-examination.