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World Court Digest

I. Substantive International Law - First Part
7.7. Suspension and Termination

¤ Case Concerning the Land and Maritime
Boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria
(Cameroon v. Nigeria: Equatorial Guinea Intervening)
Judgment of 10 October 2002

[p. ] 198. In relation to the Treaty of Versailles, Nigeria points out that Article 289 thereof provided for “the revival of pre-war bilateral treaties concluded by Germany on notification to Germany by the other party”. It contends that, since Great Britain had taken no steps under Article 289 to revive the Agreement of 11 March 1913, it was accordingly abrogated; thus Cameroon “could not have succeeded to the [Agreement] itself”.

Cameroon argues that Article 289 of the Treaty of Versailles did not have any legal effect on the Agreement of 11 March 1913, because “the scope of this Article was limited to treaties of an economic nature in the broad sense of the term” - which in Cameroon’ view was confirmed by the context of the Article, its position within the scheme of the Treaty, its drafting history and its object and purpose in light of the Treaty as a whole.
199. The Court notes that since 1916 Germany had no longer exercised any territorial authority in Cameroon. Under Articles 118 and 119 of the Versailles Treaty, Germany relinquished its title to its overseas possessions. As a result, Great Britain had no reason to include the Anglo-German Agreement of 11 March 1913 among the “bilateral treaties or conventions” which it wished to revive with Germany. Thus it follows that this argument of Nigeria must in any event be rejected.