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 15 THE FINANCES OF THE COURT

§355. Provisions for Meeting the Court's Expenses . There is abundant evidence that when the plans for its establishment were being perfected in 1920, the Court was regarded as an organ of the League of Nations. This partly explains the failure of its founders to envisage any independent method for meeting the Court's expenses. Since agencies had already been created for collecting and disbursing the funds of the League of Nations, it would have meant both duplication and difficulty in 1920 to have created an independent method of financing the Court; and the view that the Court was to be an organ of the League of Nations led quite naturally to the provision in Article 33 of the Statute that "the expenses of the Court shall be borne by the League of Nations, in such a manner as shall be decided by the Assembly upon the proposal of the Council." 1

The expenses of the International Bureau of the Permanent Court of Arbitration are "borne by the Contracting States in the proportion fixed for the International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union "; 2 as they are not large, no great difficulties have arisen in that system.3 In line with this precedent, the original text of the Covenant of the League of Nations provided in Article 6 that the expenses of the Secretariat should be "borne by the Members of the League in accordance with the apportionment of the expenses of the International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union." When the First Assembly of the League of Nations came to consider the problems of the budget in 1920, it had already begun to appear that diffi-

____________________
1
A proposal was made in 1917 that an endowment fund of thirty million dollars should be created for a court. In Marburg, Development of the League of Nations Idea ( 1932), p. 739. In a book on The World Court ( 1925), §168, Judge de Bustamante also favored the idea of an endowment.
2
Articles 29 ( 1899) and 50 ( 1907) of the Hague Conventions on Pacific Settlement. But Article 31 of the Hague projet of 1907 provided in Article 31 that the expenses of the proposed Court of Arbitral Justice should be borne by the Contracting Powers, to which the Administrative Council was to apply for funds.
3
See §5, supra. For a comparison between the expenses of the Permanent Court of International Justice and those of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, see Series E, No. 8, pp. 329-330.

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