South West Africa (Liberia v. South Africa)
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.