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 10 THE DRAFTING OF THE STATUTE AND AMENDMENTS

§134. Agencies Concerned in Drafting the Original Statute. Four agencies were principally concerned in the drafting of the original Statute: the 1920 Committee of Jurists, the Council of the League of Nations, a sub-committee of the Third Committee of the First Assembly of the League of Nations, and the Third Committee of the First Assembly of the League of Nations. In its plenary sessions, the First Assembly of the League of Nations did little more than to confirm the results of the work of its Third Committee and the latter's sub-committee.1 To understand the genesis of any provision of the original Statute, it may be necessary to trace the drafts through the thirty-five meetings of the Committee of Jurists, June 16-July 24, 1920;2 through the eighth and tenth sessions of the Council of the League of Nations, at San Sebastian July 30- August 5, and at Brussels October 20-28, 1920;3 through the eleven meetings of the sub-committee, November 24-December 10, 1920;4 through the eight meetings of the Third Committee, November 17-

____________________
1
The First Assembly in plenary session made only one change in the draft before it, in Article 27.
2
"Advisory Committee of Jurists, Procès-verbaux of the Proceedings of the Committee," The Hague ( 1920), pp. iv, 779 (referred to as Minutes of the 1920 Committee of Jurists). These minutes, in many cases only summarized, were revised from original minutes taken at the time which were not published. Some quotations from the original minutes were published in James Brown Scott, The Project of a Permanent Court of International Justice and Resolutions of the Advisory Committee of Jurists ( 1920). See also, Men and Policies, Addresses by Elihu Root ( 1924), pp. 321ff.

It is a difficult task to trace the provisions of the Statute through the discussions of the Committee of Jurists. Until its 17th meeting, no definite text was taken as the basis of discussion. The Root-Phillimore plan, Minutes, pp. 298-301, 326-328, served as the basis from the 17th to the 24th meetings; a text prepared by a drafting committee, idem, pp. 561-571, served as the basis from the 25th to the 30th meetings. The 31st meeting was devoted to a second reading, and the final draft-scheme was signed at the 32nd meeting on July 23, 1920. Idem, p. 671.

3
At this time the minutes of the Council were not included in the League of Nations Official Journal; they were printed separately as Documents 20/29/14, 20/29/16 and were later published.
4
The minutes of the sub-committee were published in Records of First Assembly, Committees, I, pp. 331-408.

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