Permanent Court of International Justice


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World Court

World Court, popular name of the Permanent Court of International Justice, established pursuant to Article 14 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. The protocol establishing it was adopted by the Assembly of the League in 1920 and ratified by the requisite number of states in 1921. By the time of its dissolution in 1945 (when its functions were transferred to the newly created International Court of Justice), the court had 59 member states. Established at The Hague, the court was empowered to render judgments in disputes between states that were voluntarily submitted to it and to give advisory opinions in any matters referred to it by the Council or the Assembly of the League. Its functions, thus, were judicial rather than, as in the case of the older Hague Tribunal, purely arbitral and diplomatic. It also differed from the Hague Tribunal in having a permanent group of judges instead of a panel from which judges might be selected to hear a particular dispute. The court originally had 11 judges and 4 deputy judges, but in 1931 its composition was changed to 15 regular judges. Judges were elected for nine-year terms by the Council and the Assembly concurrently; they were selected from a list of nominees of the Hague Tribunal regardless of nationality, except that not more than one citizen of a country might sit on the bench at any one time.

Although the United States never joined the court (because the Senate refused to ratify the protocol), there was always an American jurist on the bench. To assure impartiality, the judges were paid salaries and were forbidden to engage in governmental service or in any legal activity except their judicial work. In the course of its existence, the court rendered 32 judgments and 27 advisory opinions. An important judgment was that which affirmed (1933) Danish sovereignty over the northern coast of Greenland and disallowed Norway's claim. The advisory opinions of the court were important in developing international law. A notable opinion declared (1931) that the proposed customs union of Germany and Austria would violate Austria's pledge to remain independent. The court virtually ceased to function after the German occupation of the Netherlands in 1940.

Bibliography

See M. O. Hudson, The Permanent Court of International Justice, 1920–1942 (rev. ed. 1943, repr. 1972); D. F. Fleming, The United States and the World Court (1945, repr. 1968).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Permanent Court of International Justice

 

an international court established by the League of Nations at The Hague pursuant to article 14 of the covenant of the League and to an agreement of Dec. 16, 1920. The court functioned from 1921 to February 1940 and was officially dissolved in January 1946.

The Permanent Court was established to resolve international disputes by judicial means. It had 11, later 15, judges, elected by the League’s Council and Assembly for terms of nine years. The court had jurisdiction over cases voluntarily submitted by disputing nations, as well as over disputes subject to its review according to treaties and conventions in force.

The Permanent Court also gave advisory opinions on disputes referred to it by the League’s Council and Assembly. The court did not play an important role in resolving international disputes: during its existence it reviewed only 37 disputes and offered 28 advisory opinions. The USSR was not a party to the court’s statute.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(165.) Meeting of the Advisory Committee of Jurists, supra note 149, at 235 (address by Baron Descamps, President of the Committee); Report of the Informal Inter-Allied Committee on the Future of the Permanent Court of International Justice (Feb.
Hudson, The Succession of the International Court of Justice to the Permanent Court of International Justice, 51 AM.
(254.) Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice art.
When the European Court of Human Rights refers proprio motu to the jurisprudence of the Permanent Court of International Justice or to that of the International Court of Justice, it usually follows their direction.
If we examine the tendency of the International Court of Justice to cite the dicta of other international tribunals, we can conclude that the attention of the judges of the World Court is focused mostly on the jurisprudence of the Permanent Court of International Justice and some arbitral awards.
The Permanent Court of International Justice expressed this rule for the first time in the Lotus case (103) and the International Court of Justice has done so as well.
(2.) The Permanent Court of International Justice has delivered twenty-seven advisory opinions.

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