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World Court Digest

I. Substantive International Law - First Part
7.9. Specific Treaties
7.9.6. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment
of the Crime of Genocide of 1948

¤ Legality of Use of Force
(Yugoslavia v. Spain),
Request for the Indication
of Provisional Measures,
Order of 2 June 1999

[p. ] 29. Whereas in its Application Yugoslavia claims, in the second place, to found the jurisdiction of the Court on Article IX of the Genocide Convention, which provides:

"Disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application or fulfilment of the present Convention, including those relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide or for any of the other acts enumerated in Article III, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute";

whereas it is not disputed that both Yugoslavia and Spain are parties to the Genocide Convention; whereas, however, Spain's instrument of accession to the Convention, deposited with the Secretary-General an 13 September 1968, contains a reservation "in respect of the whole of Article IX";

30. Whereas Spain contends that, this reservation having given rise to no objection by Yugoslavia, Article IX of the Genocide Convention "is inapplicable to the mutual relations between Spain and ... Yugoslavia", and that the said Article cannot accordingly found the jurisdiction of the Court in this case, even prima facie; and whereas Spain further contends that the dispute submitted to the Court by Yugoslavia "does not ... come within the scope of the Convention";

31. Whereas Yugoslavia disputed Spain's interpretation of the Genocide Convention, but submitted no argument concerning Spain's reservation to Article IX of the Convention;

32. Whereas the Genocide Convention does not prohibit reservations; whereas Yugoslavia did not object to Spain's reservation to Article IX; and whereas the said reservation had the effect of excluding that Article from the provisions of the Convention in force between the Parties;

33. Whereas in consequence Article IX of the Genocide Convention cannot found the jurisdiction of the Court to entertain a dispute between Yugoslavia and Spain alleged to fall within its provisions; and whereas that Article manifestly does not constitute a basis of jurisdiction in the present case, even prima facie;1

1Cf. Order of 2 June 1999, Legality of Use of Force, Yugoslavia v. United States of America (§§ 21-25).