Webinar: Provisional measures at the International Court of Justice

More than 70 years ago, the International Court of Justice published its first order for provisional measures.  Provisional measures aim to protect rights under imminent threat and, as such, play a crucial role in the maintenance of international peace and security.  As the recent orders for provisional measures by the International Court of Justice demonstrate, the discussion about the status of provisional measures remains extremely relevant in public international law and international dispute resolution.

This Volterra Fietta webinar addressed the past, present and future development of provisional measures at the International Court of Justice.


The speakers for this seminar were:

Maurice Mendelson QC, Barrister at Blackstone Chambers and Emeritus Professor of International Law at the University of London.  Professor Mendelson has litigation experience before various adjudicative fora (e.g., ICJ, ECJ, and ECtHR).  He has acted for numerous governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, multinational and national corporations, and occasionally individuals.  Professor Mendelson’s practice covers all aspects of public international law including, but not limited to, sovereignty disputes, boundary issues (land and sea), the law of the sea more generally, and the international protection of human rights.  He is also a specialist in international investment arbitration and has sat as an ICSID arbitrator.  He has published widely on many aspects of public international law, authored articles and chaired events discussing provisional measures in international courts.


Paola Gaeta, Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies of Geneva.  She has also taught at the University of Geneva, the University of Florence and the Bocconi University of Milan.  Previously, Professor Gaeta was Director of the Geneva Academy.  She is a Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of International Criminal Justice and previously of the European Journal of International Law.  Professor Gaeta has counselled States in provisional measures proceedings before the International Court of Justice, including in the case concerning Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina v Uruguay).  She has also appeared before the European Court of Human Rights.  Professor Gaeta has published widely on various public international law topics, including on issues of interim measures of protection by courts and tribunals in international law.


Dapo Akande, Professor of Public International Law at the Blavatnik School of Government, a Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, and Co-Director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict.  Professor Akande is also a Barrister at Essex Court Chambers.  He has acted as a consultant, expert, or adviser on international law issues to United Nations bodies, the African Union Commission, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the Association of South East Asian Nations.  He has provided advice to States and non-governmental organisations on matters of international law and has acted as counsel, advocate, adviser, or consultant in cases before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the European Court of Human Rights, international arbitral tribunals in mixed disputes, the World Trade Organisation, and NAFTA Dispute Settlement panels.  Professor Akande was elected as a member of the United Nations International Law Commission for the 2023-2027 quinquennium.  He has also published extensively on public international law, including provisional measures at the International Court of Justice.  He has experience acting as counsel in provisional measures proceedings before international courts, including in The M/T “San Padre Pio” Case (Switzerland v Nigeria) before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.


Robert Volterra, Partner at Volterra Fietta and visiting professor of law at University College London.  Professor Volterra advises and represents governments, international organisations and private clients on a wide range of public international law issues, including the law of the sea.  Professor Volterra regularly acts as co‑agent, counsel and advocate before the International Court of Justice and ad hoc international arbitration tribunals, including under the PCA, ICSID, ICC, SCC, LCIA, UNCITRAL, WTO and UNCLOS rules.  Professor Volterra is on the UK Attorney General’s A-list for public international law practitioners.  He has advocated on behalf of States in provisional measures proceedings before the International Court of Justice, including in Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v United Arab Emirates).


This webinar was moderated by Gunjan Sharma, Mr Sharma is Counsel at Volterra Fietta.  Mr Sharma has represented States before the International Court of Justice, represented investors and States in investor-State arbitrations and been counsel to clients before numerous US courts.  He has served as an expert witness on behalf of a State on matters of sovereign immunity, public international law and administrative law.  He also counsels clients, including States, on maritime and territorial disputes and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.  He has advised States as legal counsel during treaty negotiations and on boundary delimitation matters.  In 2020, the Legal 500 listed Gunjan under the “Rising Star” category for public international law.  The same publication noted that peers and clients referred to Mr Sharma as a “future star in the public international law area for sure”.

For any queries regarding the content of the seminar, please email