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The present protocol, which has been drawn up in accordance with the decision taken by the Assembly of the League of Nations on the 13th December, 1920, is subject to ratification. Each Power shall send its ratification to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations; the latter shall take the necessary steps to notify such ratification to the other signatory Powers. The ratification shall be deposited in the archives of the Secretariat of the League of Nations.

The said protocol shall remain open for signature by the members of the League of Nations and by the states mentioned in the Annex to the Covenant of the League.

The statute of the Court shall come into force as provided in the abovementioned decision.

Executed at Geneva, in a single copy, the French and English texts of which shall both be authentic.


The undersigned, being duly authorized thereto, further declare, on behalf of their Government, that, from this date, they accept as compulsory, ipso facto and without special convention, the jurisdiction of the Court in conformity with Article 36, paragraph 2, of the statute of the Court, under the following conditions:

[The signatures and ratifications of the protocol and of the optional clause were as follows up to September, 1922.) ? States which have signed and ratified the protocol: Albania




New Zealand





Serb-Croat-Slovene State


South Africa




United Kingdom


Venezuela * League of Nations Official Journal, Oct. 1921, pp. 807–9; Jan. 1922, p. 5; Feb. 1922, pp. 119–20; Mar. 1922, p. 203; Apr. 1922, p. 305; May, 1922, p. 425; June, 1922, p. 475; Aug. 1922, p. 757; Sept. 1922, p. 1025.

States which have signed but not ratified the protocol:



Costa Rica



States which have signed and ratified the optional clause:

Brazil 3

Netherlands 5


Denmark -

Finland 4

Switzerland 4

States which have signed but not ratified the optional clause:
Costa Rica


Salvador Luxemburgo • Brazil signed the optional clause for a period of five years and with the reserve that its signature shall be considered invalid unless the clause is signed by at least two Powers permanently represented on the Council of the League of Nations.

• For a period of five years only.

*For a period of five years only, in respect of any future dispute in regard to which the parties have not agreed to have recourse to some other means of friendly settlement.



ARTICLE 1 A Permanent Court of International Justice is hereby established, in accordance with Article 14 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. This Court shall be in addition to the Court of Arbitration organized by the conventions of The Hague of 1899 and 1907, and to the special tribunals of arbitration to which states are always at liberty to submit their disputes for settlement.


Organization of the Court

ARTICLE 2 The Permanent Court of International Justice shall be composed of a body of independent judges, elected regardless of their nationality from among persons of high moral character, who possess the qualifications required in

* Official text issued by the League of Nations.

their respective countries for appointment to the highest judicial offices, or are juris-consults of recognized competence in international law.


The Court shall consist of fifteen members: eleven judges and four deputy judges. The number of judges and deputy judges may hereafter be increased by the Assembly, upon the proposal of the Council of the League of Nations, to a total of fifteen judges and six deputy judges.


The members of the Court shall be elected by the Assembly and by the Council from a list of persons nominated by the national groups in the Court of Arbitration, in accordance with the following provisions.

In the case of members of the League of Nations not represented in the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the lists of candidates shall be drawn up by national groups appointed for this purpose by their governments under the same conditions as those prescribed for members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration by Article 44 of the Convention of The Hague of 1907 for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes.?

ARTICLE 5 At least three months before the date of the election, the Secretary-General of the League of Nations shall address a written request to the members of the Court of Arbitration belonging to the states mentioned in the Annex to the Covenant or to the states which join the League subsequently, and to the persons appointed under paragraph 2 of Article 4, inviting them to undertake, within a given time, by national groups, the nomination of persons in a position to accept the duties of a member of the Court.

No group may nominate more than four persons, not more than two of whom shall be of their own nationality. In no case must the number of candidates nominated be more than double the number of seats to be filled.

· Article 44 of the convention of The Hague of 1907 for the pacific settlement of international disputes reads as follows:

“Each signatory power shall select four persons at the most, of known competency in questions of international law, of the highest moral reputation, and disposed to accept the duties of arbitrators.

“The persons thus selected are inscribed, as members of the court, in a list which shall be notified by the Bureau to all the contracting powers.

“Any alteration in the list of arbitrators is brought by the Bureau to the knowledge of the contracting powers.

“Two or more Powers may agree on the selection in common of one or more members. “The same person can be selected by different powers.

“The members of the court are appointed for a term of six years. Their appointments can be renewed.

“In case of the death or retirement of a member of the court, his place shall be filled in accordance with the method of his appointment, for a new term of six years." (SUPPLEMENT to this JOURNAL, Vol. 2, p. 60.)

ARTICLE 6 Before making these nominations, each national group is recommended to consult its highest court of justice, its legal faculties and schools of law, and its national academies and national sections of international academies devoted to the study of law.

ARTICLE 7 The Secretary-General of the League of Nations shall prepare a list in alphabetical order of all the persons thus nominated. Save as provided in Article 12, paragraph 2, these shall be the only persons eligible for appointment.

The Secretary-General shall submit this list to the Assembly and to the Council.

ARTICLE 8 The Assembly and the Council shall proceed independently of one another to elect, firstly the judges, then the deputy judges.


At every election, the electors shall bear in mind that not only should all the persons appointed as members of the Court possess the qualifications required, but the whole body also should represent the main forms of civilization and the principal legal systems of the world.

ARTICLE 10 Those candidates who obtain an absolute majority of votes in the Assembly and in the Council shall be considered as elected.

In the event of more than one national of the same member of the League being elected by the votes of both the Assembly and the Council, the eldest of these only shall be considered as elected.

ARTICLE 11 If, after the first meeting held for the purpose of the election, one or more seats remain to be filled, a second and, if necessary, a third meeting shall take place.

ARTICLE 12 If, after the third meeting, one or more seats still remain unfilled, a joint conference consisting of six members, three appointed by the Assembly and three by the Council, may be formed, at any time, at the request of either the Assembly or the Council, for the purpose of choosing one name for each seat still vacant, to submit to the Assembly and the Council for their respective acceptance.

If the conference is unanimously agreed upon any person who fulfils the required conditions, he may be included in its list, even though he was not included in the list of nominations referred to in Articles 4 and 5.

If the joint conference is satisfied that it will not be successful in procuring an election, those members of the Court who have already been appointed shall, within a period to be fixed by the Council, proceed to fill the vacant seats by selection from amongst those candidates who have obtained votes either in the Assembly or in the Council.

In the event of an equality of votes among the judges, the eldest judge shall have a casting vote.

The members of the Court shall be elected for nine years.
They may be reelected.

They shall continue to discharge their duties until their places have been filled. Though replaced, they shall finish any cases which they may have begun.

ARTICLE 14 Vacaneies which may occur shall be filled by the same method as that laid down for the first election. A member of the Court elected to replace a member whose period of appointment had not expired will hold the appointment for the remainder of his predecessor's term.

ARTICLE 15 Deputy judges shall be called upon to sit in the order laid down in a list.

This list shall be prepared by the Court and shall have regard, first, to priority of election and, secondly, to age.


The ordinary members of the Court may not exercise any political or administrative function. This provision does not apply to the deputy judges except when performing their duties on the Court.

Any doubt on this point is settled by the decision of the Court.


No member of the Court can act as agent, counsel or advocate in any case of an international nature. This provision only applies to the deputy judges as regards cases in which they are called upon to exercise their functions on the Court.

No member may participate in the decision of any case in which he has previously taken an active part, as agent, counsel or advocate for one of the contesting parties, or as a member of a national or international court, or of a commission of inquiry, or in any other capacity.

Any doubt on this point is settled by the decision of the Court.

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