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 13 THE RULES OF COURT

§254. Rule-making Power of the Court . Throughout the discussions of the 1920 Committee of Jurists, it was recognized that questions of procedure in general should be left to be regulated by the Court itself, and that in framing its rules the Court should have a wide freedom. Article 23 of the original Statute referred to the possibility that the date of the Court's annual session might be fixed by "Rules of Court" (Fr., règlement de la Cour). Article 30 provided that "the Court shall frame rules for regulating its procedure," in particular "rules for summary procedure"; it is more broadly stated in the French version that la Cour détermine par un règlement le mode suivant lequel elle exerce ses attributions. Articles 26 and 27 provided for the choice of technical assessors to sit in the special chambers" in accordance with rules of procedure [Fr. règles de procédure] under Article 30." Article 51 provided that the conditions for putting questions to witnesses and experts should be "laid down by the Court ill the rules of procedure [Fr., le règlement] referred to in Article 30."

It would seem that while the rules envisaged in the Statute were to deal chiefly with questions of procedure, they were also to cover questions relating to the internal organization of the Court. In 1922, a suggestion was made that the Court should adopt two sets of rules in order that rules of procedure might be distinguished from rules of Court.1 This suggestion met with little favor at the time, but in 1931 the Court formulated and in 1936 it revised some rules of "the Court's judicial practice" which were not included ill the Rules of Court;2 however the Court has recognized that it is entirely free to suspend the application of these rules of judicial practice in a given case, if it finds that the circumstances of the case justify that course.3 In 1934 and 1935 it was suggested that the contents of certain articles of the Rules, dealing with the Registry of the Court should be transferred to a set of "Internal Regulations for the

____________________
1
Series D, No. 2, pp. 103, 106.
2
Series D, No. 2 (2d add.), pp. 268, 300; Series D, No. 2 (3d add.), pp. 748-750; Series E, No. 7, p. 297; idem, No. 12, p. 196.
3
Series E, No. 14, p. 158.

-270-

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