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 4 March 2015 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of declarations made under the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice which have not lapsed or been withdrawn.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 71 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) :
30 April 1998
I have the honour, on behalf of the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to declare that the acceptance by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice by virtue of the Declaration made on 14th of August, 1965 under Article 36 of the Statute of the Court, is hereby amended so as to read as set out in the following paragraph;
In conformity with paragraph 2 of Article 36 of the Statue, the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria accepts as compulsory ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to any other State accepting the same obligation, that is to say, on condition of reciprocity, the jurisdiction of the Court over all legal disputes referred to in that paragraph of the Statute, other than:
(i) disputes in respect of which any party to the disputes has accepted the jurisdiction of the Court by a Declaration deposited less than Twelve Months prior to the filing of an Application bringing the dispute before the Court after the date of this Amended Declaration;
(ii) disputes in respect of which any party has filed an Application in substitution for or in lieu of all or any part of any Application to which sub-paragraph (i) refers;
(iii) disputes relating to matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
(iv) disputes in respect of which any party to the dispute has accepted the jurisdiction of the Court in relation to or for the purposes of the dispute;
(v) disputes in regard to which the parties have agreed or agree to have recourse to any other method of peaceful settlement;
(vi) disputes relating to or connected with facts or situations of hostilities or armed conflict, whether internal or international in character;
(vii) disputes with any State with which the Government of Nigeria does not have diplomatic relations;
(viii) disputes concerning the allocation, delimitation or demarcation of territory (whether land, maritime, lacustrine or super jacent air space) unless the Government of Nigeria specially agrees to such jurisdiction and within the limits of any such special agreement;
(ix) disputes in relation to matters which arose prior to the date of Nigeria's independence, including any dispute the causes, origins or bases of which arose prior to that date.
The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria further 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, to add to, amend or withdraw this Declaration or the reservations contained therein or any that may hereafter be added.
Done at Abuja, this 29th day of April 1998.
(Signed) Chief Tom IKIMI,
Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Back to the list