Declarations Recognizing the Jurisdiction of the Court as Compulsory
The States parties to the Statute of the Court may "at any time declare that they recognize as compulsory ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to any other State accepting the same obligation, the jurisdiction of the Court" (Art 36, para. 2 of the Statute).
Each State which has recognized the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court has in principle the right to bring any one or more other State which has accepted the same obligation before the Court by filing an application instituting proceedings with the Court, and, conversely, it has undertaken to appear before the Court should proceedings be instituted against it by one or more such other States.
The Declarations Recognizing as Compulsory the Jurisdiction of the Court take the form of a unilateral act of the State concerned and are deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The texts of declarations under Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Statute, which, based on the information provided by the depository, had not expired by effluxion of time, or whose withdrawal or replacement had not been notified by 28 April 2017 will be found below. The fact that a declaration is or is not included in this section, is without prejudice to its possible application by the Court in a particular case.
In view of the provisions of Article 36, paragraph 5, of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, the present section also contains the texts of declarations made under the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice which have not lapsed or been withdrawn. There are now six such declarations.
The declarations, deposited by a total of 72 States, are given here in English. Where this is not the original language of the declaration, the translations used, except where otherwise indicated, are by the Secretariat of the United Nations or of the League of Nations.
The following declaration have been filed with the Secretary-General of the United Nations (the date shown after the name of the State is that on which the declaration was deposited) :
6 December 1966
I have the honour to declare, on behalf of the Government of Malta, that Malta accepts as compulsory ipso facto and without special convention, on condition of reciprocity, the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, in conformity with paragraph 2 of Article 36 of the Statute of the Court, until such time as notice may be given to terminate the acceptance, over all disputes other than:
(i) disputes in regard to which the Parties to the dispute have agreed or shall agree to have recourse to some other method of peaceful settlement;
(ii) disputes with the government of any other country which is a Member of the British Commonwealth of Nations, all of which disputes shall be settled in such manner as the parties have agreed or shall agree;
(iii) disputes with regard to questions which by international law fall exclusively within the jurisdiction of Malta;
(iv) disputes concerning any question relating to or arising out of belligerent or military occupation or the discharge of any functions pursuant to any recommendation or decision of an organ of the United Nations, in accordance with which the Government of Malta have accepted obligations;
(v) disputes arising under multilateral treaty, unless (1) all Parties to the treaty affected by the decision are also Parties to the case before the Court, or (2) the Government of Malta specially agrees to jurisdiction;
(vi) disputes relating to any matter excluded from compulsory adjudication or arbitration under any treaty, convention or other international agreement or instrument to which Malta is a party;
(vii) disputes in respect of which arbitral or judicial proceedings are taking, or have taken place with any State which, at the date of the commencement of the proceedings, had not itself accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice; and
(viii) disputes in respect of which any other Party to the dispute has accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice only in relation to or for the purposes of the dispute; or where the acceptance of the Court's compulsory jurisdiction on behalf of any other Party to the dispute was deposited or ratified less than twelve months prior to the filing of the application bringing the dispute before the Court.
The Government of Malta also reserves the right at any time, by means of a notification addressed to the Secretary General of the United Nations, and with effect as from the moment of such notification either to add to, amend or withdraw any of the foregoing reservations or any that may hereafter be added.
Valletta, 29 November 1966.
(Signed) G. FELICE
Acting Minister of Commonwealth
and Foreign Affairs.
2 September 1983.
I have the honour to refer to the declaration made by the Government of Malta on 29 November 1966, and notified on 6 December 1966, concerning the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice and to give notice that, with effect from the moment this notification is received by Your Excellency, the acceptance of the Government of Malta of the jurisdiction of the Court shall be limited to all disputes with Malta other than
(1) the disputes mentioned in paragraphs (i) to (viii) both inclusive, of the said declaration, and
(2) the following categories of disputes, that is to say: Disputes with Malta concerning or relating to:
(a) its territory, including the territorial sea, and the status thereof,
(b) the continental shelf or any other zone of maritime jurisdiction, and the resources thereof,
(c) the determination or delimitation of any of the above,
(d) the prevention or control of pollution or contamination of the marine environment in marine areas adjacent to the coast of Malta.
The Government of Malta also reserves the right at any time, by means of a notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and with effect from the moment of such notification, either to add to, amend or withdraw any of the foregoing reservations or any that may hereafter be added.
(Signed) Alex SCEBERAS TRIGON,
Minister for Foreign Affairs.
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