In the last few years quite a few international lawyers have been complaining about the 1985 termination (with effect on April 7, 1986) by the United States of its 1946 declaration accepting the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. Little attention has been paid to the fact that during the forty years since the making of this declaration many other states have changed their declarations, often several times, in order to adept them to the Court's jurisprudence and to new circumstances. By 1985, the United States declaration was in fact obsolete, and some of the reservations contained in it proved more harmful than useful. It should have been changed long ago, but when the crisis arose there was no substitute available and not adequate study of the conditions to be included in a new declaration which would put the United States on a par with the more-cautious other states. At the time, cancellation of the declaration appeared easier than replacing it with a better one. The purpose of this paper is to explore the possibility that in the not-too-distant future the Government of the United States will reconsider the matter and decide to renew its declaration accepting the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. The debate at that time will primarily revolve around the conditions of that acceptance.
Louis B. Sohn,
Suggestions for the Limited Acceptance of Compulsory Jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice by the United States
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/fac_artchop/206