Courtesy Reuters

The Court as an Organ of the United Nations

THERE is no hedging in the agreement reached by the four Powers at Dumbarton Oaks on the question of the inclusion of a court as an integral part of the organization to be known as The United Nations. That is an important fact, even though numerous problems of real complexity relating to the court must still be decided. The basic principle of procedure at Dumbarton Oaks which seeks agreement on fundamentals without being distracted by details is wholly to be commended.

The problems still to be solved so far as the court is concerned may be divided under four headings for the purpose of discussion. The first is whether the present World Court is to be used or a new one created. The second relates to the selection of judges. The third includes the basic question of the court's jurisdiction. The fourth embraces the many details, largely technical, bearing on the amendment of the World Court's Statute.

The Dumbarton Oaks proposals name an International Court of Justice as one of the four "principal organs" of the new organization called The United Nations. The other principal organs listed in Chapter IV of the proposals are a General Assembly, a Security Council and a Secretariat. The conferees of the four Powers specify their common ideas about a court in Chapter VII. The most significant point of agreement is that all members of the organization "should ipso facto be parties to the statute of the International Court of Justice." The important question whether the statute of the future international court of justice should be the present Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice (usually called the World Court) or whether a new statute should be drafted, lies in the much discussed "ten percent" area in which agreement was not reached. It is agreed, however, that even if the second alternative is chosen and a new statute drafted, the existing Statute of the World Court "should be used as a basis."

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