The International Court of Justice again completed a substantial program of work during 2003, with old and new cases involving the United States figuring prominendy. In a decision that will find Hide favor in official Washington, the Court dismissed Iran's 1992 Oil Platforms case against the United States, but in doing so firmly rejected U.S. positions regarding the scope of self-defense. Libya withdrew its venerable Lockerbie cases against the United States and the United Kingdom, in parallel with its acceptance of responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing and the final lifting of UN sanctions. And Mexico sued the United States, claiming failures of consular notification for fifty-four Mexican nationals sentenced to death in U.S. proceedings, the third such ICJ case against the United States.
In other significant developments, the General Assembly in December asked die Court for an urgent advisory opinion on die legal consequences of the Israeli construction of a wall in occupied Palestinian territory. Malaysia and Singapore brought a new territorial dispute by special agreement; France consented to jurisdiction over a suit by the Republic of the Congo; and the Court rejected requests by Yugoslavia and El Salvador to revise earlier judgments. Finally, the Court elected Judge Shijiuyong of China as its president and Judge Raymond Ranjeva as vice president.