Journal Article

Max Huber as Arbitrator: The Palmas (Miangas) Case and Other Arbitrations

Daniel-Erasmus Khan

in European Journal of International Law

Published on behalf of The EJIL

Volume 18, issue 1, pages 145-170
Published in print February 2007 | ISSN: 0938-5428
Published online February 2007 | e-ISSN: 1464-3596 | DOI:
Max Huber as Arbitrator: The Palmas (Miangas) Case and Other Arbitrations

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The peaceful settlement of international disputes by judicial means held a prominent place in Max Huber's work throughout his career both as an academic and legal practitioner. For a number of good reasons, Huber's best known contribution in the field, his 1928 award in the Island of Palmas case, is still renowned as one of the leading cases of our discipline. Although somewhat less well known, the second case in which Huber acted as sole arbitrator (British Claims in the Spanish Zone of Morocco 1923–1925), served as one of the major precedents in the International Law Commission's work on state responsibility. Going far beyond the rather technical (and marginal) issues at stake, both awards owe their lasting importance not least to the firm theoretical foundations on which they rely. In contrast, a third case in which Huber was actively involved in a twofold way has almost completely fallen into oblivion. Huber not only negotiated and signed the 1921 Swiss-German treaty of arbitration and conciliation, but was also called to sit on the bench of the Jacob Salomon Kidnapping case (1935) established under the terms of that very treaty. Although no formal award was rendered, this case is nonetheless a prime example of the pressure that the mere existence of an arbitration procedure can apply even on dictatorial regimes.

Journal Article.  13923 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public International Law

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