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Advisory Opinion on Namibia

International Court of Justice, Advisory Opinion
1971 I.C.J. 16


South Africa occupied Namibia (formerly South West Africa) where it instituted a system of apartheid. In 1966, in response to apartheid, the United Nations General Assembly issued a resolution stating that South Africa’s continued mandate from the League of Nations to Namibia was terminated. The General Assembly concluded that South Africa breached the mandate by instituting apartheid and was thus in Namibia illegally. South Africa ignored the General Assembly’s resolution, however, and the United Nations Security Council considered the situation. The Security Council reaffirmed the General Assembly’s resolution and stated that South Africa’s continued presence in Namibia was illegal. South Africa remained unresponsive to this resolution. The Security Council requested an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the following questions: “What are the legal consequences for States of the continued presence of South Africa in Namibia, notwithstanding Security Council resolution 276 (1970)?”

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning

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