The Registry is the permanent administrative secretariat of the Court. It is accountable to the Court alone. It is headed by a Registrar, assisted by a Deputy-Registrar.
Since the Court is both a court of justice and an international organization, the Registry’s tasks are not only those of a service helping in the administration of justice - with sovereign States as litigants - but also those of an international secretariat. Its activities are both judicial and diplomatic, as well as administrative.
The Registry consists of three Departments (Legal Matters; Linguistic Matters; Information), a number of technical Divisions (Personnel/Administration; Finance; Publications; Library; IT; Archives, Indexing and Distribution; Text Processing and Reproduction; Security and General Assistance) and the secretaries to Members of the Court. It currently comprises some 100 officials, either permanent or holding fixed-term contracts, appointed by the Court or the Registrar.
All officials take an oath of loyalty and discretion on commencing their duties. Essentially, they enjoy the same privileges and immunities as members of comparable missions of diplomatic rank in The Hague. They are subject to Staff Regulations, which are virtually identical to the United Nations Staff Regulations, and to Instructions for the Registry. Their conditions of employment, salaries and pension rights are the same as those of United Nations officials of the equivalent category and grade; the costs are borne by the United Nations.