INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICEWHETHER AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT SHOULD SUPPORT PROPOSED APPLICATION BY SWITZERLAND TO BECOME A PARTY TO THE STATUTE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE: POSSIBLE CONDITIONS APPLICABLE TO BECOMING A PARTY: AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT POLICY SUPPORTING ENLARGEMENT OF PLACE OF LAW IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS AND RESORT TO INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE
CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS arts 4, 93, ch XIV: STATUTE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE art 4(3)
(1) In my opinion the Australian Government should support the proposed application by Switzerland to become a party to the Statute of the International Court of Justice, subject of course to conditions to be determined in accordance with Article 93 of the Charter. Australian policy as formulated by the Minister at San Francisco and elsewhere has included explicit enlargement of the place of law in international affairs, and of resort to the International Court in particular.
(2) The question of procedure will need careful consideration. The second paragraph in Article 93 permits non-members of the United Nations to become parties to the Statute of the Court ‘on conditions to be determined in each case by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council’. In applying a rather similar formula for the admission of new members of the United Nations (Article 4) the Minister has consistently contended for the view that applications should not go to the Security Council in the first instance, but only reference by the General Assembly. The text, however, in this instance is not exactly the same. In the context of Article 93, it can I think be contended with much force that the first step of the Secretary-General, on receiving an intimation of the desire of a non-member to become a party to the Statute, should be to refer the matter to the Security Council for recommendation as to the conditions upon which the non-member state may become a party.
(3) I think it is clear that becoming a party to the Statute of the Court under Article 93 carries with it no implication of willingness to admit the state concerned to membership of the United Nations. It may imply that the organs of the United Nations regard the applicant as a ‘peace-loving’ state. But it cannot be taken as implying any judgment on either the willingness or the ability of the non-member to discharge the general obligations of membership (Article 4).
No question appears to arise at this juncture as to the conditions which it would be proper to impose under Article 93 as a condition of Switzerland’s becoming a party to the Statute of the Court. No doubt these conditions would include the acceptance of the obligations contained both in Chapter XIV of the Charter and in the Statute itself, and willingness to make a due contribution to the budget of the Court, with the correlative right under Article 4(3) of the Statute to participate in future elections to the Court.
[Vol. 37, p. 149]