Decisions and Sanctions of the World Court

December 26, 1925

Report Outline
Court Sanctions in the Versailles Treaty
Judgments of the World Court
Advisory Opinions of the World Court

The World Court during its first four years has been called upon to deal with nineteen international cases. It has handed down six judgments and has received requests in thirteen instances for advisory opinions upon matters being handled by the Council of the League of Nations. In one case in which an advisory opinion had been asked a majority of the Court held that it was incompetent under the surrounding circumstances to render such an opinion, and in another case the request for an advisory opinion was withdrawn. Eleven advisory opinions have been rendered by the Court to date.

Some of the advisory opinions of the Court have been of minor consequence, but others—such as the recent opinion in connection with the Mosul dispute—have been made the basis of important decisions by the Council of the League in the attempted settlement of international controversies. The six judgments of the Court have been accepted in each case by the parties to the suit and appear to have been carried out in good faith.

To date no occasion has arisen for a resort to sanctions for enforcement of the Court's decisions. When an opinion of the Court becomes the substance of a report and recommendation by the Council of the League, it is clear that the opinion acquires the same force, and is backed by the same sanctions as any other recommendation of the Council. There has been some confusion, however, as to the existence of sanctions for enforcement of the Court's direct judgments.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
World Court
Jun. 17, 1959  World Court and International Law
Jul. 25, 1929  The Kellogg Treaty and the World Court
Dec. 26, 1925  Decisions and Sanctions of the World Court
Dec. 14, 1925  The Senate and the World Court
Jan. 24, 1925  The World Court and the Geneva Protocol
Dec. 31, 1923  The Permanent Court of International Justice
International Law and Agreements