Permanent Court of International Justice

The establishment of the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), the predecessor of the International Court of Justice, was provided for in the Covenant of the League of Nations. It held its inaugural sitting in 1922 and was dissolved in 1946. The work of the PCIJ, the first permanent international tribunal with general jurisdiction, made possible the clarification of a number of aspects of international law, and contributed to its development.

Between 1922 and 1940 the PCIJ dealt with 29 contentious cases between States, and delivered 27 advisory opinions.

The Reports of Series A, B and A/B (from 1931) contain the decisions (Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders) delivered by the Permanent Court of International Justice from 1922 to 1940.

The written pleadings, records of the public hearings and correspondence for each case are available in the Series C Reports: “Acts and Documents Relating to the Judgments and Advisory Opinions given by the Court” (until 1930) and “Pleadings, Oral Arguments, Documents” (from 1931).

Series D contains acts and documents concerning the organization of the Court, as well as the preparation of its Rules of Court and the modifications to those Rules. The Court’s Yearbooks (entitled Annual Reports) can be found in Series E. Series F contains the catalogues of the Court’s publications.

In December 2012, in keeping with its wish to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the inauguration of the PCIJ, the Registry of the ICJ has republished an explanatory book on the history and work of the first permanent international tribunal. The electronic version of this trilingual book (English, Spanish, French) is available online. The print version is now on sale and can be ordered by e-mail (price: 65 euros excl. shipping costs. In your e-mail, please mention: sales number PCIJ 1015).

On the occasion of the ninety-fourth anniversary of the inauguration of the PCIJ, on 15 February 2016, the Registry of the ICJ has posted on its website a video of the inaugural sitting of the Permanent Court of International Justice, which took place on 15 February 1922 (video archives of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Beeld en Geluid).

On 10 December 2020, the Court hosted an event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Statute of its predecessor, the PCIJ. Some 50 representatives of international judicial institutions, including presidents, judges, registrars and legal staff, attended the event in person or remotely.