International Arbitration, from Athens to Locarno

By Jackson H. Ralston | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXIII
MIXED ARBITRAL TRIBUNALS FOLLOWING THE WORLD WAR

216. Their formation. -- The treaty of Versailles, dated June 28, 1919, provided for the institution of Mixed Arbitral Tribunals, and its provisions served as a model for a number of like tribunals created under subsequent treaties.

By the provisions of its Article 296 there were established clearing offices to settle various classes of debts due to or from the nationals of Germany and of the opposing contracting parties, including interest where payable and capital sums which had become payable before and during the war to nationals of the contracting powers in respect of securities of an opposing power, the payment of which had not been suspended during the war. The same section in its Annex provided that all disputes which the clearing offices were unable to settle between themselves could either be referred to arbitration or to the mixed tribunal provided thereafter.

Paragraph 18 of the Annex to Article 296 provides for the appointment of an agent on either side, responsible for presentation to the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal of cases conducted on behalf of its clearing office. The decisions of the tribunal, by Paragraph 24, were to be regarded as final and conclusive and binding upon the respective nationals.

A number of sections are devoted to a description of the rights and claims of the parties in interest.

Recovery being provided in the treaty for losses due to "exceptional war measures," Paragraph 3 of the Annex to Article 297 defines the expression as including

measures of all kinds, legislative, administrative, judicial, or others, that have been taken or will be taken hereafter with regard to enemy property, and which have had or will have the effect of removing from the proprietors the power of disposition over their property, though without affecting the ownership, such as measures of supervision, of compulsory administration, and of sequestration; or measures which have had or will have as an object the seizure of, the use of, or the interference with enemy assets, for whatsoever motive, under whatsoever form or in whatsoever place.

By Article 299 contracts concluded by the enemies were regarded as having been dissolved as from the time when any two of the parties became enemies, except as to any debt or other pecuniary obligation arising out of any act done or money paid thereunder, and subject to

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