Document Type



The Other Shoe Falls: The Future of Article 36(1) Jurisdiction in the Light of Nicaragua, 81 American Journal of International Law 166 (1987)


In the wake of the 1984 Judgment of the International Court on jurisdiction and admissibility issues in the Nicaragua case, the United States reviewed the utility and desirability of continued participation in the optional jurisdictional regime established by Article 36(2) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. The Executive concluded essentially that the experiment initiated by the regime neither had succeeded nor was likely to succeed in the future; that its subscription was ragged and asymmetrical in terms of world politics; that the Court, the custodian of this mode of jurisdiction, had adopted new theories of interpretation that were inconsistent, in the U.S. view, with the thrust of the provision; that the Court itself had changed; and that, in sum, continued United States participation would discriminate against United States interests while contributing nothing to world order. Accordingly, on October 7, 1985, the Secretary of State informed the Secretary-General of the United Nations that the United States was terminating, in accord with the terms of its Declaration and the provisions of the Statute, its adherence to the optional regime under Article 36(2) of the ICJ Statute.

Date of Authorship for this Version