The Anglo-Iranian Oil Dispute of 1951-1952: A Study of the Role of Law in the Relations of States

The Anglo-Iranian Oil Dispute of 1951-1952: A Study of the Role of Law in the Relations of States

The Anglo-Iranian Oil Dispute of 1951-1952: A Study of the Role of Law in the Relations of States

The Anglo-Iranian Oil Dispute of 1951-1952: A Study of the Role of Law in the Relations of States

Excerpt

The purpose of this study is twofold. It attempts, first, to describe the progress of the Anglo-Iranian oil dispute through July, 1952, the date of the International Court of Justice's order dismissing, for lack of jurisdiction, the United Kingdom's application to submit the dispute to the Court for a judicial determination. Second, as the subtitle states, it is also a study of the role of law in the relations of states. In recent years a remarkable change has occurred in the concept of the part that international law plays in those relations. The trend of the transition has been from the extreme legalism of the nineteenth century which envisaged international law as a panacea for the world's ills to the "political realism" of the present which denies the existence of international law qua law and would prefer to classify it as a branch of ethics. There is more involved in this difference than mere semantic difficulties, though they too frequently exist. The difference is one between a concept of international relations as power relationships uncontrolled and unrestrained by moral and legal principles, and a concept (now held by very few) of international relations as relations governed by ascertainable rules of law. There is, of course, a middle ground that is occupied by persons who think that international law can be a vital and useful institution for building a saner world community. I, for one, have not been able to accept the "realistic" conclusion, reached by some of our most eminent writers about international affairs, that . . .

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