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119-Aerial Incident of August 10th, 1999 (Pakistan vs India)

Pakistan filed an Application instituting proceedings against India before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) following the destruction of a Pakistani plane in the aerial incident of August 10th, 1999. India submitted preliminary objections relating to the jurisdiction of the Court. 

In its judgment of June 21st, 2000, the ICJ examined the possible bases of its jurisdiction:

  1. Pakistan first relied on Article 17 of the General Act for the Pacific Settlement of International Settlement of International Disputes signed in Geneva on September 26th, 1928. The ICJ referred in particular to a communication sent by the Indian Government to the Secretary-General of the United Nations in which stated that India never considered itself to be part of the General Act, by way of succession or otherwise. Consequently, the first argument of Pakistan could not prosper.
  2. The applicant then relied on the declarations of acceptance of the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court made by the Parties. However, India’s declaration contained an important reservation. Indeed, the country had excluded from the jurisdiction of the ICJ disputes involving another member state of the Commonwealth, an organisation of which Pakistan is a member. The Court could therefore not find a basis for its jurisdiction using this argument
  3. Pakistan’s last argument was based on article 36 paragraph 1 of the Statute of the Court, which states that ”the jurisdiction of the Court comprises all cases which the parties refer to it and all matters specially provided for in the Charter of the United Nations”. The ICJ found that nothing in the Charter of the United Nations or article 1 of the Simla Accord of July 2nd, 1972 gave it the necessary jurisdiction to hear this dispute.

Having concluded that it could not hear the case, the Court urged the parties to find a peaceful solution to the matter.

Judgment of 21-06-2000.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.