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 17 PROBLEMS OF THE COURT'S ORGANIZATION

§378. Inauguration of the Court . The Statute of the Court contained no provision for summoning the judges to an inaugural session, nor did it fix a date for the beginning of the nine-year term for which the judges were elected. Following the election in 1921, the Secretary- General of the League of Nations took the initiative of summoning the judges to meet at The Hague for a preliminary session on January 30, 1922, and at the same time, he informed them that their salaries would be paid from January 1, 1922; this latter date came to be regarded as the date on which the judges' nine-year terms began,1 and by the Rules later adopted, the Court assumed the power to fix January 1 of the year following an election as the date for the beginning of the term of the judges elected at a general election.2 When some of the judges stated that they could not be present on January 30, 1922, the Secretary-General summoned two deputy-judges to the preliminary session, and both of them attended; the Court later invited the other two deputy-judges, and one of them attended. Nine judges and three deputy-judges thus took part in the Court's first session. Pending the election of a President, Judge Loder was asked to preside; a member of the Secretariat of the League of Nations, Åke Hammarskjöld, had been designated by the Secretary- General as the acting secretary of the Court, and a representative of the Secretary-General was present at three of the earlier meetings. At its second meeting on February 3, 1922, the Court elected Judge Loder as President and M. Hammarskjöld as Registrar. At a public inaugural meeting on February 15, 1922, the members of the Court made their solemn declarations,3 and speeches were made by M. da Cunha on behalf

____________________
1
Series E, No. 1, p. 12.
2
The earlier practice of the Court was to regard an election to fill a vacancy "as taking effect on the first day of the month following that in which the election took place." Series D, No. 2 (3d add.), pp. 760, 804. Article 1 of the 1936 Rules provides, however, that the term of office of a judge elected to fill a vacancy shall begin on the date of the election. Idem, pp. 378- 81, 470. See §260, supra.
3
A similar procedure was followed in 1931. Series E, No. 7, p. 20.

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