The ICJ may sit as a full panel, but it can also, by agreement with the Parties, be constituted witha smaller chamber of three to five judges. Parties may stipulate that the Chamber be composedonly of mutually acceptable judges .
Only UN member States which have become parties to the Statute of the Court, or which haveaccepted its jurisdiction under certain conditions, may be parties to contentious cases. Belize andGuatemala fall into the latter category, and so any referral would be via a special agreementwhich would sets out not only the actual agreement of the States parties to go to the ICJ, but alsothe scope of the reference
, the nature of the panel requested, and the modalities for procedure
Submission of a contentious matter to the ICJ via a special agreement occurs by explicit consentand is described as being the most effective basis for the Court's jurisdiction, because the partiesconcerned who participate in deciding what and how matters go to the court demonstrate therebya real desire for the dispute to be resolved by the Court and are consequently more disposed tocomply with the Court's judgment.
Article 94 of the Court‟s Statute establishes the duty of all UN members to comply with
decisions of the Court involving them. If either party fails "to perform the obligations incumbentupon it under a judgment rendered by the Court", the other party may bring the matter before theUN Security Council to make recommendations or to decide upon measures which should betaken if the Security Council deems such actions necessary. Judgments of the Court are said tobe binding, final and without appeal, and by signature of the UN Charter, member States of the