035- Aerial Incident of 27 July 1955 (Israel vs Bulgaria)

On October 16th, 1957, Israel filed an application instituting proceedings before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Bulgaria concerning the destruction by the Bulgarian air defence of an aircraft belonging to an Israeli line. Bulgaria had raised a preliminary objection concerning the Court’s lack of jurisdiction.

Israel argued that, since Bulgaria had accepted in 1921 the compulsory jurisdiction of the Permanent Court of International Justice for an indefinite period, that acceptance had become applicable to the jurisdiction of the present Court upon Bulgaria’s admission to the United Nations in 1955, under article 36, paragraph 5, of the Statute.

The Court ruled on this question in its judgment of May 26th, 1959. It considered that it had no authority to hear the case on the ground that Article 36, paragraph 5, was intended to maintain in force the declarations existing between States signatories to the Charter of the United Nations, and not to revive at a later date commitments which had lapsed upon the dissolution of the PCIJ.

Judgment of 26-05-1959.pdf

This summary is provided for informational purposes only, does not involve the responsibility of Dome and should in no way be used as a substitute for a careful reading of the judgment and order of the case.