Links

Site search
Document search
Contact

The Court

History
Members of the Court
Presidency
Chambers and Committees
Judges ad hoc
How the Court Works
Financial Assistance to Parties
Annual Reports

The Registry

Registrar
Organizational Chart of the Registry
Texts governing the Registry
Library of the Court
Employment
University traineeship program
Internships
Procurement

Cases

List of All Cases
Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders

Basic Documents

Charter of the United Nations
Statute of the Court
Rules of Court
Practice Directions
Other Texts

Jurisdiction

Contentious Jurisdiction
Advisory Jurisdiction

Press Room

Press releases
Calendar
Media Services
Multimedia
Frequently Asked Questions

Practical Information

Directions
Visits
Links
Frequently Asked Questions

Publications

Introduction

Permanent Court of International Justice

Series A: Collection of Judgments (1923-1930)
Series B: Collection of Advisory Opinions (1923-1930)
Series A/B: Collection of Judgments, Orders and Advisory Opinions (from 1931)
Series C: Acts and documents relating to Judgments and Advisory Opinions given by the Court / Pleadings, Oral Arguments and Documents
Series D: Acts and Documents concerning the organization of the Court
Series E: Annual Reports
Series F: General Indexes
Other documents


Français

Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

Overview of the case

In November 1950, the General Assembly asked the Court a series of questions as to the position of a State which attached reservations to its signature of the multilateral Convention on Genocide if other States, signatories of the same Convention, objected to these reservations. The Court considered, in its Advisory Opinion of 28 May 1951, that, even if a convention contained no article on the subject of reservations, it did not follow that they were prohibited. The character of the convention, its purposes and its provisions must be taken into account. It was the compatibility of the reservation with the purpose of the convention which must furnish the criterion of the attitude of the State making the reservation, and of the State which objected thereto. The Court did not consider that it was possible to give an absolute answer to the abstract question put to it. As regards the effects of the reservation in relations between States, the Court considered that a State could not be bound by a reservation to which it had not consented. Every State was therefore free to decide for itself whether the State which formulated the reservation was or was not a party to the convention. The situation presented real disadvantages, but they could only be remedied by the insertion in the convention of an article on the use of reservations. A third question referred to the effects of an objection by a State which was not yet a party to the convention, either because it had not signed it or because it had signed but not ratified it. The Court was of the opinion that, as regards the first case, it would be inconceivable that a State which had not signed the convention should be able to exclude another State from it. In the second case, the situation was different : the objection was valid, but it would not produce an immediate legal effect ; it would merely express and proclaim the attitude which a signatory State would assume when it had become a party to the convention. In all the foregoing, the Court adjudicated only on the specific case referred to it, namely, the Genocide Convention.


This overview is provided for information only and in no way involves the responsibility of the Court.

Request for Advisory Opinion

Request for Advisory Opinion

20 November 1950
Request for Advisory Opinion
Available in:
English French

Written proceedings

Written Statements

14 December 1950
Available in:
English French

Oral proceedings

Verbatim record 1951

Minutes of the Public Sittings held at the Peace Palace, The Hague, on April 10th to 14th and on May 28th, 1951, the President, M. Basdevant, presiding
Available in:
Original Language

Other documents

Orders

Order of 1 December 1950

Fixing of time-limit: Written Statements
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Advisory opinions

Summaries of Advisory Opinions and Orders

Summary 1951/1

Summary of the Advisory Opinion of 28 May 1951
Available in:
English French

Press releases

Press release 1950/47

1 December 1950
Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide - Fixing of the time-limit for the filing of written statements
Available in:
English French

Press release 1951/5

5 April 1951
Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide - The Court will hold a series of public hearings beginning 10 April 1951
Available in:
English French

Press release 1951/6

10 April 1951
Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide - Opening of the public hearings
Available in:
English French

Press release 1951/7

11 April 1951
Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide - Public hearings of 11 April 1951
Available in:
English French

Press release 1951/9

12 April 1951
Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide - Public hearing of 12 April 1951
Available in:
English French

Press release 1951/10

13 April 1951
Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide - Public hearings of 13 April 1951
Available in:
English French

Press release 1951/12

14 April 1951
Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide - Public hearings of 14 April 1951
Available in:
English French

Press release 1951/19

24 May 1951
Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide - The Court will give its Advisory Opinion on 28 May 1951
Available in:
English French

Press release 1951/21

28 May 1951
Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide - Advisory Opinion of the Court of 28 May 1951
Available in:
English French

Correspondence

Correspondence

17 November 1950
Correspondence
Available in:
English French