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3 January 1975


General List No. 61


international Court of Justice


Western Sahara






BEFORE: President: Manfred Lachs
Citation: Western Sahara, 1975 I.C.J. 3 (Order of Jan. 3)


The President of the International Court of Justice,

Having regard to Article 66, paragraph 2, of the Statute of the Court;

Whereas, on 13 December 1974, 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:

"I. Was Western Sahara (Río de Oro and Sakiet El Hamra) at the time of colonization by Spain a territory belonging to no one (terra nullius)?

If the answer to the first question is in the negative,

II. What were the legal ties between this territory and the Kingdom of Morocco and the Mauritanian entity?"

Whereas certified true copies of the English and French texts of the aforesaid resolution of the General Assembly were transmitted to the Court by a letter of the Secretary-General of the United Nations dated 17 December 1974 and filed in the Registry on 21 December 1974;

Whereas the General Assembly has requested that the advisory opinion of the Court be given at an early date, and having regard to Article 87, paragraph 2, of the Rules of Court; [p4]

Fixes 27 March 1975 as the time-limit within which written statements may be submitted in accordance with Article 66, paragraph 2, of the Statute of the Court;

Reserves the subsequent procedure for further decision.
Done in French and in English, the French text being authoritative, at the Peace Palace, The Hague, this third day of January, one thousand nine hundred and seventy-five.

(Signed) Manfred Lachs,


(Signed) S. Aquarone,