Politics and the Emergence of An Activist International Court of Justice

By Thomas J. Bodie | Go to book overview

3
The League and the Permanent Court Set a Standard

This chapter is an examination of the differention between legal and political questions as envisioned in the Covenant of the League of Nations, the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice, and the judgments and advisory opinions of the Court. The possibility of the PCIJ having spoken to this issue existed to a greater degree than for the arbitral tribunal because of the much greater chance of a case being initiated unilaterally under some form of compulsory jurisdiction. What resulted from the possibility for unilateral application to the Court was a greater likelihood of jurisdictional objections being raised by an unwilling respondent. Certainly, one of the objections to be raised was the suitability of the subject matter for an adjudicatory forum.

Out of the peace treaties of World War I arose the Covenant of the League of Nations, an attempt to provide for peace through internationalorganization. In Article 14, the final text of the Covenant provided for the eventual creation of a court:

The Council shall formulate and submit to the Members of the League for adoption plans for the establishment of a Permanent Court of International Justice. The Court shall be competent to hear and determine any dispute of an international character which the parties thereto submit to it. The Court may also give an advisory opinion upon any dispute or question referred to it by the Council or by the Assembly.

The Court was not created at the same time as the League because it was considered too large a project to undertake at the same time as concluding peace at the end of the war.

Certainly, Article 14 provides the first insight into the subject matter

-37-

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Politics and the Emergence of An Activist International Court of Justice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1- Previous Inquiries 7
  • 2 - International Arbitration: the States In Action 21
  • 3- The League and the Permanent Court Set a Standard 37
  • 4- The U.N. and the Icj: Continuity And Change 57
  • 5- Where Angels Fear to Tread 85
  • Notes 99
  • Bibliography 105
  • Index 111
  • About the Author 113
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