A Study of United States Acceptance of Compulsory Jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice

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international relations, compulsory jurisdiction, United States, International Court of Justice, international law, international courts


Diplomatic History | International Law | International Relations | Jurisdiction | Political Science | United States History


"Once nations begin to submit some of their international disputes to impartial international adjudication--and I mean as an established procedure and not as the voluntary exception--we will have taken another important step toward justice under an international rule of law."

The view expressed above by Attorney General William Rogers has been echoed by world leaders--Americans and others--on all levels. This view, however, is not unanimously held and there are many ardent opponents of compulsory jurisdiction and even of the principle of a world court. The United State, when it accepted the Charter of the United Nations, became a member of the International Court of Justice and in 1946 declared its acceptance of the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court under Article 36 of the Statute. There were reservations attached to the declaration of acceptance which were controversial at the time of their passage and have become even more controversial with the passage of time. There is in the 86th Congress a move to repeal one of the reservations known as the Connally amendment (reserving to the United States the right to determine for itself whether a matter is essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of the United States). The present writer's dual interests--Congressional dynamics and international relations--led to this study of the United States acceptance of compulsory jurisdiction of the World Court.

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