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Reservations to the Convention on Genocide

International Court of Justice, Advisory Opinion
1951 I.C.J. 15


Facts

A dispute arose regarding the legal effect of reservations made by several states to the United Nations Genocide Convention of 1948 (78 U.N.T.S. 277). As a result, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution in 1950 asking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for an advisory opinion on various issues in the dispute. Specifically, in a situation where a State ratifies the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide subject to a reservation made either on ratification or on accession, or on signature followed by ratification, the General Assembly requested the ICJ to answer whether the reserving State may be regarded as being a party to the Convention while still maintaining its reservation, if the reservation is objected to by one or more of the parties to the Convention but not by others. Additionally, if the answer to this question is in the affirmative, the General Assembly requested the ICJ to answer the question of what is the effect of the reservation as between the reserving State and both the parties which object to the reservation and the parties which accept it. The ICJ considered these questions.

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Holding and Reasoning

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