Natural Resources in the Case Law of the International Court

Rosalyn Higgins Dbe Qc

in Themes and Theories

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780198262350
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682322 | DOI:
Natural Resources in the Case Law of the International Court

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This chapter deals with the work of the International Court of Justice (CJ), and of its predecessor, the Permanent Court of International Justice, as it relates to the development of the law of natural resources. In the Aramco Arbitration, the legal nature of all types of concessions was dealt with in meticulous detail. Carefully differentiating the petroleum concession from other types, the Tribunal found that the former was not normally a creature of administrative law, but was governed by international law. The series of three cases which came before the Permanent Court between 1924 and 1927 provide a vivid picture of legal problems that arose on the transfer of power from the Ottoman authorities to Britain in respect of Palestine. The Mavrommatis Jerusalem Concession case is also an early example of what today we call indirect takings. This chapter also discusses petroleum and mineral resources in the case law of the ICJ, as well as water as a natural resource.

Keywords: International Court of Justice; natural resources; case law; international law; concessions; indirect takings; petroleum; mineral resources; water

Chapter.  11665 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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