The South West Africa Cases: Remand to the United Nations

by Elizabeth S. Landis
Ithaca, New York, United States
Spring 1967
Publisher: Cornell University
47 pages
Type: Pamphlet
Coverage in Africa: Namibia, South Africa, Ethiopia, Liberia
Coverage outside Africa: United States, United Nations
Language: English
Contents: I. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND • II. DEVELOPMENT OF THE ISSUES • Political Considerations • The Applicants' Case • Respondent's Case • The Substantive Issue: International Legal "Standards" or "Norm" Prohibiting Discrimination • III. THE DECISION • The Court's Opinion • The Dissenting Opinions • IV. EVALUATION OF THE COURT'S DECISION • What Did the Court Decide? • Why Did the Court Decide as It Did? • Was the Court's Decision Correct? • V. ACTION ON REMAND • Elizabeth Landis examines the more than five-and-a-half years of proceedings before the International Court of Justice in the South West Africa cases, in which no rulings were ever made on the merits. Therefore, the issue of South West Africa was returned to the United Nations. She quotes African observers who were angry at the failure of the court’s judges, all of whom were European, to act and who concluded that the reputation of the Court has been damaged. Landis considers the arguments of the parties and how their positions developed during the course of the litigation. Landis compares the Court's holding and rationale with its prior holding in the litigation, and concludes by considering the probable effects of the outcome of the case. The article mentions the State Department, apartheid in South West Africa, the Smith regime in Rhodesia, the Portuguese in Angola and Mozambique, President Wilson, the Allies, the League of Nations, the UN trusteeship system, Prime Minister Verwoerd, Sir Percy Spender, International Court of Justice President Winiarski and Vice President Wellington Koo, and Judges Bustamante, Zafrulla Khan, Spiropoulos, Jessup, Mbanefo, Basdevant,Fitzmaurice, Morelli, van Wyk, Koretsky, Tanaka, Nervo, Forster. It also mentions separate development, UN resolutions, fundamental concepts of traditional international law, the Ethiopian and Liberian complaints, World War II, a blatantly racist regime, and de facto annexation.
This work was originally published in the Cornell Law Quarterly, Vol. 52, copyright 1967 by the Cornell Law Quarterly. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.
Collection: Winifred Courtney Collection, National Archives of Namibia