In 1949 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) handed down its first judgment in the Corfu Channel Case. In diffusing an early Cold War dispute, the Court articulated a set of legal principles which continue to shape our appreciation of the international legal order. Many of the issues dealt with by the Court in 1949 remain central questions of international law, including due diligence, forcible intervention and self-help, maritime operations, navigation in international straits and the concept of elementary considerations of humanity. The Court’s decision has been cited on numerous occasions in subsequent international litigation. Indeed, the relevance of this judgment goes far beyond the subject matter dealt with by the Court in 1949, extending to pressing problems such as trans-boundary pollution, terrorism and piracy. In short, it was and remains a thoroughly modern decision — a landmark for international law; and one which today warrants reconsideration.

Taking a critical approach, this book examines the decision’s influence on international law generally and on some fields of international law like the law of the sea and the law of international responsibility specifically. The book collects the commentary of a distinguished set of international law scholars, including four well-known international judges. The contributors consider not only the history of the Corfu Channel Judgment and its contribution to the development of international law, but also its resonance in many contemporary issues in the field of international law.

This book will be of particular interest to academics and students of International Law, International Relations and Legal History

part |38 pages

Views from the Bench

chapter |5 pages

The Corfu Channel case and the concept of sovereignty

ByMohamed Bennouna

chapter |18 pages

The bar

ByJean-Pierre Cot

part |45 pages

The historical and institutional framework

chapter |19 pages

The Corfu Channel case in perspective

The factual and political background
ByAristoteles Constantinides

chapter |24 pages

The International Court of Justice and the Security Council

Disentangling Themis from Ares
ByGiovanni Distefano, Etienne Henry

part |62 pages

Procedural and evidential issues before the World Court

part |51 pages

Law of the Sea

chapter |15 pages

International straits

Still a matter of contention?
ByStuart Kaye

chapter |17 pages

Dangerous waters and international law

The Corfu Channel case, warships, and sovereignty irritants
ByRob McLaughlin

chapter |17 pages

Peacetime maritime operations

ByDonald R. Rothwell

part |93 pages

Fundamental rules of international law

chapter |10 pages

The Court's decision in silentium on the sources of international law

Its enduring significance
ByAkiho Shibata

chapter |15 pages

Intervention and self-help

ByTheodore Christakis

chapter |16 pages

A policy of force

ByChristine Gray

chapter |14 pages

Foundational judgment or constructive myth?

The Court's decision as a precursor to international environmental law
ByKarine Bannelier

chapter |28 pages

Elementary considerations of humanity

ByMatthew Zagor

part |22 pages

Issues of state responsibility

chapter |20 pages

State omissions and due diligence

Aspects of fault, damage and contribution to injury in the law of state responsibility
BySarah Heathcote

chapter |20 pages

The limits of complicity as a ground for responsibility

Lessons learned from the Corfu Channel case
ByOlivier Corten, Pierre Klein

chapter |22 pages

Reparation and compliance

ByPierre d'Argent

chapter |5 pages


ByHilary Charlesworth