Although the United States never joined the court (because the Senate refused to ratify the protocol), there was always an American jurist on the bench. To assure impartiality, the judges were paid salaries and were forbidden to engage in governmental service or in any legal activity except their judicial work. In the course of its existence, the court rendered 32 judgments and 27 advisory opinions. An important judgment was that which affirmed (1933) Danish sovereignty over the northern coast of Greenland and disallowed Norway's claim. The advisory opinions of the court were important in developing international law. A notable opinion declared (1931) that the proposed customs union of Germany and Austria would violate Austria's pledge to remain independent. The court virtually ceased to function after the German occupation of the Netherlands in 1940.
See M. O. Hudson, The Permanent Court of International Justice, 1920–1942 (rev. ed. 1943, repr. 1972) D. F. Fleming, The United States and the World Court (1945, repr. 1968).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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