I have the honour to refer to Your Excellency's aide-memoire on the order of precedence that you handed to me on June 15th, 1970. By that memorandum you proposed that following the precedent established in Washington, the President of the International Court of Justice would take precedence over all diplomats, ambassadors and ministers, accre dited to Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands, including the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.
The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps would come immediately after the President of the Court and would be followed by the Vice-President of the Court and thereafter the precedence would proceed alternately between the regular diplomatic corps and the members of the Court, it being recognized that in the event of a vacancy on either side the next Judge or Ambassador, as the case might be, would be promoted to the vacancy, depending upon whether the vacancy resulted from the completion of the term of office of a Judge or of that of a diplomat. A Judge would be replaced by the Judge next in order of precedence and a diplomat would be replaced by the diplomat next in order of precedence.
This would work out as follows:
1. the President of the International Court of Justice,
2. the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps,
3. the Vice-President of the International Court of Justice,
4. diplomat 1,
5. judge 1,
and thereafter alternately till :
28. diplomat 13,
29. judge 13,
30. diplomat 14.
I have the pleasure to inform you that the Netherlands Government agrees to this proposal. I would add to this that in case the President of the International Court of Justice has left the Netherlands, the Vice President shall take the President's place and if the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps is absent the acting Dean shall take the Dean's place. The same rule applies in cases where the President of the International Court of Justice or the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps have been invited in their quality but, though being in the country, are unable to attend the function for which they have been invited.
The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps has been informed of this decision.
(Signed) J. M. A. H. LUNS .