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 7 PROVISIONS FOR A COURT IN THE COVENANT OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS

§89. The Situation in 1919 . The progress of a World War from 1914 to 1918 served to convince people in many countries that international organization was essential to maintaining peace in the future, and when the hostilities were brought to a close in 1918 an unparalleled opportunity seemed to exist for launching a new effort in this direction. It had then become clear that no result was to be expected from the effort of the Second Peace Conference to create a Court of Arbitral Justice, and that a fresh attempt would have to be made which could not be limited by the discussions at The Hague in 1907. If an effective League of Nations was to be launched, the opinion of the time regarded it as essential that it should include a court to administer justice according to law, and the task of creating such a court became at once more simple because it could be undertaken in connection with plans for a larger organization. Inevitably, therefore, the revival of effort in this direction came to be associated with the League of Nations.

§90. Drafts Prior to the Peace Conference . The creation of an international court was foreseen in numerous unofficial drafts of the Covenant prior to the Peace Conference in 1919,1 but preliminary consideration by governmental agencies of plans for the League of Nations seems to have put little stress on the importance of a court. A draft of a statute of the League of Nations prepared by a British committee in 1918 contained no

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1
See particularly 2 Marburg, Development of the League of Nations Idea ( 1932), pp. 721ff.; Kluyver, Documents on the League of Nations ( 1920), pp. 339ff.; Phillimore, "Schemes for Maintaining General Peace", British Peace Handbooks, XXV, No. 160, pp. 49ff.; Wehberg, Die Pariser Völkerbundakte ( 1919), pp. 58ff.; Wheeler- Bennett, Information on the World Court ( 1929), pp. 19-30; Lange, "Préparation de la Société des Nations pendant la guerre," in Les Origines et l'œuvre de la Société des Nations, I ( 1923), pp. 1-46; New York State Bar Association Proceedings, 1918, pp. 90ff.

An "American Society for the Judicial Settlement of International Disputes," organized in the United States in 1910, published six volumes of proceedings and 29 numbers of a pamphlet entitled "Judicial Settlement of International Disputes." A "World's Court League," which advocated the establishment of an International Court of Justice, published in New York five volumes of a review entitled "The World Court," from 1915 to 1919.

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