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Permanent Court of International Justice

Series A: Collection of Judgments (1923-1930)
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Français

South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa)

Proceedings joined with South West Africa (Liberia v. South Africa) on 20 May 1961

Overview of the case

On 4 November 1960, Ethiopia and Liberia, as former States Members of the League of Nations, instituted separate proceedings against South Africa in a case concerning the continued existence of the League of Nations Mandate for South West Africa and the duties and performance of South Africa as mandatory Power. The Court was requested to make declarations to the effect that South West Africa remained a territory under a Mandate, that South Africa had been in breach of its obligations under that Mandate, and that the Mandate and hence the mandatory authority were subject to the supervision of the United Nations. On 20 May 1961, the Court made an Order finding Ethiopia and Liberia to be in the same interest and joining the proceedings each had instituted. South Africa filed four preliminary objections to the Court’s jurisdiction. In a Judgment of 21 December 1962, the Court rejected these and upheld its jurisdiction. After pleadings on the merits had been filed within the time-limits fixed at the request of the Parties, the Court held public sittings from 15 March to 29 November 1965 in order to hear oral arguments and testimony, and judgment in the second phase was given on 18 July 1966. By the casting vote of the President — the votes having been equally divided (7-7) — the Court found that Ethiopia and Liberia could not be considered to have established any legal right or interest appertaining to them in the subject-matter of their claims, and accordingly decided to reject those claims.


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

Institution of proceedings

Written proceedings

Preliminary Objections filed by the Government of the Republic of South Africa

30 November 1961
Procedure(s): Preliminary objections
Available in:
English

Observations of the Governments of Ethiopia and Liberia

1 March 1962
Procedure(s): Preliminary objections
Available in:
English

Oral proceedings

Verbatim record 1962/35

Minutes of the Public Hearings held at the Peace Palace, The Hague, from 2 to 22 October and on 21 December 1962, the President, Mr. Winiarsky, presiding
Procedure(s): Preliminary objections
Available in:
Original Language

Verbatim record 1965/1

Minutes of the Public Hearings held from 15 March to 14 July, 20 September to 15 November and 29 November 1965, 21 March and on 18 July 1966, the President, Sir Percy Spender, presiding (Minutes and Annexes to the Minutes)
Available in:
Original Language

Verbatim record 1965/2

Minutes of the Public Hearings held from 15 March to 14 July, 20 September to 15 November and 29 November 1965, 21 March and on 18 July 1966, the President, Sir Percy Spender, presiding (Annexes to the Minutes - continued)
Available in:
Original Language

Verbatim record 1965/3

Minutes of the Public Hearings held from 15 March to 14 July, 20 September to 15 November and 29 November 1965, 21 March and on 18 July 1966, the President, Sir Percy Spender, presiding (Annexes to the Minutes - continued)
Available in:
Original Language

Verbatim record 1965/4

Minutes of the Public Hearings held from 15 March to 14 July, 20 September to 15 November and 29 November 1965, 21 March and on 18 July 1966, the President, Sir Percy Spender, presiding (Annexes to the Minutes - continued)
Available in:
Original Language

Verbatim record 1965/5

Minutes of the Public Hearings held from 15 March to 14 July, 20 September to 15 November and 29 November 1965, 21 March and on 18 July 1966, the President, Sir Percy Spender, presiding (Annexes to the Minutes - concluded)
Available in:
Original Language

Other documents

Orders

Order of 13 January 1961

Fixing of time-limits: Memorial and Counter-Memorial
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 20 May 1961

Joinder of cases and appointment of judge ad hoc
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 5 December 1961

Fixing of time-limit: Written Statement of observations and submissions on preliminary objections
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 5 February 1963

Fixing of time-limit: Counter-Memorial
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 18 September 1963

Extension of time-limit: Counter-Memorial
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 20 January 1964

Fixing of time-limits: Reply and Rejoinder
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 20 October 1964

Extension of time-limit: Rejoinder
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 18 March 1965

Composition of the Court
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Judgments

Summaries of Judgments and Orders

Summary 1962/3

Summary of the Judgment of 21 December 1962
Available in:
English French

Summary 1966/1

Summary of the Judgment of 18 July 1966
Available in:
English French

Press releases

Press release 1960/28

5 November 1960
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - The Government of Ethiopia files an Application instituting proceedings against the Union of South Africa
Available in:
English French

Press release 1960/33

17 December 1960
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - The Government of the Union of South Africa appoints its Agent
Available in:
English French

Press release 1961/1

6 February 1961
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Time-limits for the filing of the pleadings
Available in:
English French

Press release 1961/15

29 May 1961
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Order of 20 May 1961
Available in:
English French

Press release 1961/19

5 December 1961
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - The Government of South Africa present Preliminary Objections to the jurisdiction of the Court
Available in:
English French

Press release 1961/20

7 December 1961
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Time-limit for the presentation by Ethiopia and Liberia of a written statement of their observations and submissions on the Preliminary Objections
Available in:
English French

Press release 1962/23

25 September 1962
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Representatives of the Parties at the hearings which will begin on 2 October 1962
Available in:
English French

Press release 1962/24

2 October 1962
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearing of 2 October 1962
Available in:
English French

Press release 1962/25

11 October 1962
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearing of 3 to 11 October 1962
Available in:
English French

Press release 1962/26

17 October 1962
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearing of 15, 16 and 17 October 1962
Available in:
English French

Press release 1962/27

19 October 1962
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearing of 19 October 1962
Available in:
English French

Press release 1962/28

22 October 1962
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearing of 22 October 1962
Available in:
English French

Press release 1962/29

23 October 1962
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Closing of the oral procedure (Preliminary Objections)
Available in:
English French

Press release 1962/31

17 December 1962
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - The Court will deliver its Judgment on the Preliminary Objections on 21 December 1962
Available in:
English French

Press release 1962/32

21 December 1962
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Judgment (Preliminary Objections)
Available in:
English French

Press release 1963/2

8 February 1963
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Time-limit for the filing of the Counter-Memorial of South Africa
Available in:
English French

Press release 1963/7

23 September 1963
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Extension of the time-limit fixed for the filing of the Counter-Memorial of South Africa
Available in:
English French

Press release 1964/1

22 January 1964
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Time-limits for the filing of the Reply of Ethiopia and Liberia and the Rejoinder of South Africa
Available in:
English French

Press release 1964/14

23 October 1964
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Extension of the time-limit for the filing of South Africa's Rejoinder
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/1

4 January 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - The hearings will begin on 15 March 1965
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/2

11 March 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Representatives of the Parties at the hearings
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/4

15 March 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - The Court will resume its public hearings on the conclusion of its closed hearings on a preliminary matter now under consideration
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/3

15 March 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearing of 15 March 1965
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/5

17 March 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - The Court will resume its public hearings on 18 March 1965
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/6

24 March 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearings of 18 to 24 March 1965
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/8

28 April 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearings of 22 to 28 April 1965
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/9

4 May 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearings of 30 April to 4 May 1965
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/10

19 May 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearings of 7 to 19 May 1965
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/11

27 May 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearings of 24 au 27 May 1965
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/13

17 June 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearings of 8 to 17 June 1965
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/14

23 June 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearings of 18 to 23 June 1965
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/15

14 July 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearings of 30 June to 14 July 1965
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/17

20 September 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearing of 20 September 1965
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/18

21 October 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearings of 20 September to 21 October 1965
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/19

5 November 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearings of 26 October to 5 November 1965
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/20

10 November 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearings of 9 and 10 November 1965
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/21

15 November 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearings of 12 and 15 November 1965
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/22

24 November 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - On 29 November 1965, the Court will give its decision on South Africa's request for an inspection in loco
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/23

29 November 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - Hearing of 29 November 1965
Available in:
English French

Press release 1965/24

13 December 1965
South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) - The Court will meet as early as possible in 1966 to begin its formal deliberations
Available in:
English French

Press release 1966/4

8 July 1966
Judgment in the South West Africa cases (Ethiopia v. South Africa; Liberia v. South Africa)
Available in:
English French

Press release 1966/6
(French version only)

18 July 1966
Arrêt en la deuxième phase des affaires du Sud-Ouest africain (Ethiopie c. Afrique du Sud; Libéria c. Afrique du Sud) (French version only)
Available in:
French

Press release 1966/7
(French version only)

20 July 1966
Deuxième phase des affaires du Sud-Ouest africain (Ethiopie c. Afrique du Sud; Libéria c. Afrique du Sud) (French version only)
Available in:
French

Correspondence

Correspondence

28 October 1960
Correspondence
Available in:
English French