The President of the International Court of Justice,
Having regard to Article 66, paragraph 2, of the Statute of the Court,
Whereas on November 16th, 1950, the General Assembly of the United Nations
adopted a resolution requesting the International Court of Justice to give
an advisory opinion on the following questions :
"In so far as concerns the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of
the Crime of Genocide in the event of a State ratifying or acceding to the
Convention subject to a reservation made either on ratification or on
accession, or on signature followed by ratification :
1. Can the reserving State be regarded as being a party to the Convention
while still maintaining its reservation if the reservation is objected to
by one or more of the parties to the Convention but not by others ?
II. If the answer to question 1 is in the affirmative, what is the effect of
the reservation as between the reserving State and :
(a) The parties which object to the reservation?
(b) Those which accept it ?[p 407]
III. What would be the legal effect as regards the answer to question 1 if
an objection to a reservation is made :
(a) By a signatory which has not yet ratified ?
(b) By a State entitled to sign or accede but which has not yet done so ?"
Whereas a certified true copy of the French and English texts of the
aforesaid resolution of the General Assembly was transmitted to the Court by
a letter of November 17th, 1950, of the Secretary-General of the United
Nations, filed in the Registry on November 20th, 1950 ;
Whereas under the provisions of its Article II, the said Convention is open
for signature not only by any Member of the United Nations, but also by any
non-member State to which an invitation to sign has been addressed by the
General Assembly, and whereas the States so invited are likely to be able to
give information on the questions referred to the Court by the resolution of
the General Assembly;
Whereas the International Labour Organization and the Organization of
American States are likely to be able to furnish information on the
practice of reservations to multilateral conventions and it is therefore
advisable to receive such information in so far as this practice might
enlighten the Court on the questions submitted to it, which are confined to
the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide :
1. Requests the Registrar to notify such States and international
organizations by application of the provisions of Article 66, paragraph 2,
of the Statute ;
2. Appoints Saturday, January 20th, 1951, as the date of expiry of the
time-limit within which the aforesaid States and organizations may file
written statements ;
3. Reserves the rest of the procedure for further decision.
Done in French and English, the French text being authoritative, at the
Peace Palace, The Hague, this first day of December, one thousand nine
hundred and fifty.
(Signed) E. Hambro,