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World Court Digest

Preface to printed Volume 1

This is a new start of an old activity of the Max-Planck-Institute for foreign public law and international law in Heidelberg. Since 1931 a Digest of the Decisions of the Permanent Court and later the International Court of Justice has been published. The last volume appeared in 1990 covering the period 1976-1985. The general title was "Fontes Iuris Gentium" and the subtitle "Digest of the Decisions of the International Court of Justice". The Institute has now decided to publish the Digest under the short title "World Court Digest", in English only.

The general pattern of the earlier volumes has been maintained but a few important changes should be noted. The parts of the judgments or separate opinions reproduced are frequently longer, to make it easier for the reader to see the context of a specific statement. Separate opinions are being reproduced in a restrictive manner, only where they concern essential points of a judgment. The order of presentation has been changed to allow for a better possibility to work with the Digest.

The most important change for the production of the Digest is the use of a scanner in the Institute to read the excerpts of the decisions into a computer. By this method it has been possible to reduce the price of the volume considerably. However, this reduction can only be maintained if the sale of the volume will be increased. The editors hope that many international lawyers should wish to get their own copy of the World Court Digest.

The Digest has been prepared by a working group in the Institute composed of Rainer Hofmann, Juliane Kokott, Karin Oellers-Frahm, Stefan Oeter, Andreas Zimmermann.

Jochen Abr. Frowein
Director of the Institute