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 8 THE ADOPTION OF PLANS FOR THE COURT

§107. Preparation by Governments . Over a period of several years beginning in 1917, certain European States which did not participate in the war of 1914-1918 took an active interest in planning for the creation of an international Court. Committees set up by the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Governments prepared a joint plan, embodied in an avantprojet de Convention sur une organisation juridique internationale, which was published in January, 1919;1 the collaboration of these committees was continued after the signature of the Treaty of Versailles, but separate drafts by the Norwegian Committee ( August 29, 1919),2 the Swedish Committee ( September, 1919),3 and the Danish Committee (November, 1919)4 were communicated to the Secretariat of the League of Nations. In 1918, the Federal Council of Switzerland set up a consultative committee which produced drafts of a federal pact and a constitutional statute for a league of nations, the latter instrument providing for an international court of justice.5 Late in 1919 a committee set up by the Netherlands Government prepared a projet de règlement for a court.6 About this time the Netherlands Government took an important initiative in inviting the Scandinavian and Swiss Governments to send representatives to a conference for a joint consideration of their individual plans.7 This con-

____________________
1
Betänkande rörande en Internationell Rättsordning ( Stockholm, 1919); Documents Presented to the 1920 Committee of Jurists, p. 168; 2 La Paix de Versailles, pp. 229-252. See also Kluyver, Documents on the League of Nations, p. 384 note.
2
Documents Presented to the 1920 Committee of Jurists, p. 228; 2 La Société des Nations ( 1920), p. 432.
3
Documents Presented to the 1920 Committee of Jurists, p. 236.
4
Idem, p. 202.
5
Documents Presented to the 1920 Committee of Jurists, p. 252. The Swiss undertaking is fully described in the Federal Council's message to the Federal Assembly concerning the question of the accession of Switzerland to the League of Nations, of August 4, 1919. See also 42 Die Friedens-Warte ( 1942), p. 28. The German proposals of April 23, 1919, referring to an international court, were very similar to those of the Swiss Committee.
6
Documents Presented to the 1920 Committee of Jurists, p. 278.
7
In September, 1918, with the approval of the Danish and Norwegian Governments, the Swedish Government had proposed to the Netherlands, Spanish and Swiss Governments that a conference should be held to discuss plans for a court.

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