The Permanent Court of International Justice and the 'International Community'
LEGACIES OF THE PERMANENT COURT OF INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE, pp. 339-359, Malgosia Fitzmaurice and Christian Tams, eds., Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2013
16 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2012 Last revised: 5 Dec 2014
Date Written: April 21, 2012
The purpose of this brief study is to gauge what the Permanent Court of Internation-al Justice might have had to say about the nebulous concept of the ‘international community’, as the Court administering the law of that community, but also developing it, thereby contributing to the stabilization and further integration of that community. This is done by ‘reverse-engineering’ the jurisprudence of the PCIJ, seeking to canvass how the Court understood the concept of the 'international community' and how it would have wanted it to evolve. The study surveys the Court’s case law for what are commonly accepted as the ‘hallmarks’ of an (international) community, or at least those commonly associated with the idea: the make-up of the community; the concept of obligations and action in the ‘general’ interest; and the existence of institutions providing protection of the community interest.
Keywords: international community, Permanent Court of International Justice, community interest, general interest, standing in international law, organs of the international community, institutionalisation, international courts and tribunals, obligations erga omnes, jus cogens
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