South West Africa in the International Court: Act II, Scene 1

(Vol. XLIX, No. 2)
by Elizabeth S. Landis, Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
Winter 1964
51 pages
Type: Pamphlet
Coverage in Africa: Namibia, South Africa, Africa, Ethiopia, Liberia
Coverage outside Africa: United States, Germany, United Nations
Language: English
Contents: PROLOG • The Setting • History: Creation of the South West Africa Mandate • End of the League: Trusteeship (?) • ACT I-THE ADVISORY OPINION • ACT II-CONTENTIOUS PROCEEDINGS • Complaint and Answer • Preliminary Analysis • (1) Basis for Bringing South Africa Before the Court • (2) Requirements for Bringing a Proceeding Under Article 7 • THE NEXT SCENE • The pamphlet says on December 21, 1962, fifteen judges of the International Court of Justice, in nine opinions and one declaration totaling 347 printed pages, handed down a decision, which may well signal the beginning of extensive political changes in Southern Africa. The pamphlet says the white population lives in the so-called Police Zone, which comprises about fifty-eight per cent of occupied South West Africa, including the diamond areas. The pamphlet says for the purpose of understanding the South West Africa Cases, history begins when Bismarck, stealing a march on the British, established the Colony of German South West Africa just across the Orange River from the British Cape Colony. The pamphlet says disturbed by the accumulating evidence before it and frustrated by the Union's attitude and actions, the General Assembly resolved to request an advisory opinion from the International Court on the legal status of South West Africa. The pamphlet says the "submissions" of the two applicants asked the court, first, substantially to confirm its 1950 opinion by finding that South West Africa is a territory under mandate, that the mandate is a treaty within the meaning of Article 37 of the court's statute, that South Africa remains subject to the obligations set forth in Article 22 of the Covenant of the League and in the mandate, and that the U.N. is legally qualified to exercise the supervisory functions of the League in relation to the administration of the mandated territory. The pamphlet says by the narrow margin of eight-seven the International Court dismissed the preliminary objections of the Republic of South Africa and prepared to hear the charges against that country concerning its administration of South West Africa. The pamphlet discusses the British Protectorate of Bechuanaland, Northern Rhodesia, Hereros, a Bantu people, Lake Tanganyika), Namas, Hottentots, the Berg-Damara, Damaras, Bergdamas, coloreds, Rehoboth "Bastards", the Boer Wars, the First World War, Afrikaner politicians, the League of Nations, the mandates system, the Great Powers, the Versailles Treaty, the Council of the League, the Nationalist government, the Trusteeship Council, Reverend Michael Scott, Herero chiefs, a Committee on South West Africa, Ethiopia, Liberia, the Permanent Court of International Justice, the International Court of Justice, independent African states, Mburumba Kerina; Jariretundu Kozonguizi; Hans Beukes, Rev. Markus Kooper; Sam Nujoma, Ismail Fortune, Jacob Kuhangua, Judges Spender and Fitzmaurice, the U.N. Charter, Judge Bustamante, Judge Mbanefo, Judge Jessup, Judge McNair, Judge Morelli, Judge Winiarski, Judge van Wyk, Article 7, the "Tanganyika clause", the International Labor Organization, water, agricultural, mineral deposits, and alluvial sands.

This work was originally published in the Cornell Law Quarterly, Vol. 49, copyright 1964 by the Cornell Law Quarterly. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.
Collection: Winifred Courtney Collection, National Archives of Namibia