Mavrommatis Palestine Concessions (Greece v. Great Britain)

1924 P.C.I.J. (ser. A) No. 2 (1924)

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Mavrommatis Palestine Concessions (Greece v. Great Britain)

Permanent Court of International Justice
1924 P.C.I.J. (ser. A) No. 2 (1924)

Facts

Euripide Mavrommatis, a Greek citizen, contracted with the Ottoman Empire to provide utility services and public works (i.e., concessions) within the geographic area designated as Palestine. After World War I, the Ottoman Empire lost control of Palestine to Great Britain (defendant) according to the Mandate of Palestine (the mandate). Without success, Mavrommatis attempted to enforce his contracts with Great Britain—the mandatory under the mandate. Greece and Great Britain were both member states of the League of Nations. Without first seeking to negotiate with Great Britain, Greece (plaintiff) took up the case on Mavrommatis’s behalf by filing a case with the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ)—the precursor to the United Nations’ International Court of Justice—under the mandate’s provisions. Great Britain objected, contending that the PCIJ lacked jurisdiction. Under the mandate’s express terms, the PCIJ could accept cases between states only if there was a preexisting dispute between League of Nations members, the dispute related to an interpretation or application of a mandate provision, and the dispute was incapable of resolution through negotiation. [Editor’s Note: The casebook The International Legal System: Cases and Materials (Mary Ellen O’Connell et al. eds., 8th ed. 2023) contains only Moore’s dissenting opinion. The background and majority decision are provided for reference.]

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

Dissent (Moore, J.)

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