The Permanent Court of International Justice, 1920-1942

By Manley O. Hudson; Bureau of International Research of Harvard University and Radcliffe College | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5 THE PROPOSED COURT OF ARBITRAL JUSTICE1

§75. Need for Such an Institution . When the Second Peace Conference met at The Hague in 1907, its agenda contained the following item: "Improvements to be made in the provisions of the Convention relative to the peaceful settlement of international disputes as regards the Court of Arbitration and the international commissions of inquiry." It soon became clear, however, that the current opinion was not to be satisfied with mere improvements in the 1899 Convention; experience had been gained which seemed to the representatives of some States to justify the taking of a further step in international organization. The Permanent Court of Arbitration had existed since 1900, and four tribunals created within its framework had given awards; but its inadequacy as a judicial institution was widely appreciated, and many of the delegations at the Second Peace Conference were convinced that it ought to be supplemented by the creation of a more permanent agency, with truly judicial characteristics. The chief criticisms of the process of arbitration set out in the 1899 Convention were that it was "difficult, time-consuming and expensive to set in motion,"2 and that it afforded no basis for the cumulation of a body of jurisprudence. The 1907 Conference was seized with projects of the American and Russian delegations looking toward converting the Permanent Court of Arbitration into a truly per

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1
See generally, Auguste Malauzat, La Cour de Justice Arbilrale ( Paris, 1914); James Brown Scott , An International Court of Justice ( New York, 1916); James Brown Scott, The Status of the International Court of Justice ( New York, 1916); Hans Wehberg, Das Problem eines internationalen Staatengerichtshofes (English translation by Fenwick, The Problem of an International Court of Justice, Oxford, 1918).
2
Deuxième Conférence Internationale de la Paix, 2 Actes et Documents, p. 595. The criticism of the expense was hardly justified by the facts with reference to the four tribunals which had then been created out of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The expense of the International Bureau was 42,499 florins in 1900, but less than 30,000 florins in all but one of the succeeding years down to 1907. The extra expense of the Bureau for the Pious Fund Case was 208 florins; for the Venezuelan Preferential Claims Case, 1278 florins; for the Japanese House Tax Case, 433 florins; for the Muscat Dhows Case, 630 florins. Honoraria were also paid to the arbitrators by the parties and each party bore the expense of presenting its case. See Wehberg, The Problem of an International Court of Justice ( Fenwick translation), pp. 99ff.

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