The company was incorporated under Canadian law, it has his office there, accounts and registers, but operated in Spain. In 1948 was declared bankrupted by Spanish Court. Canada intervened on its behalf but later withdrew. 88 % of the shares were owned by Belgian nationals. Belgium brought this claim. Spain objected lack of locus standi
(33) When a State admits into its territory foreign investments or foreign nationals, whether natural or juristic persons, it is bound to extend to them the protection of the law and assumes obligations concerning the treatment to be afforded them. These obligations, however, are neither absolute nor unqualified. In particular, an essential distinction should be drawn between the obligations of a State towards the international community as a whole, and those arising vis-à-vis another State in the field of diplomatic protection. By their very nature the former are the concern of al1 States. In view of the importance of the rights involved, al1 States can be held to have a legal interest in their protection; they are obligations erga omnes.
(34) Such obligations derive, for example, in contemporary international law, from the outlawing of acts of aggression, and of genocide, as also from the principles and rules concerning the basic rights of the human person, including protection from slavery and racial discrimination.
(35) Obligations the performance of which is the subject of diplomatic protection are not of the same category. It cannot be held, when one such obligation in particular is in question, in a specific case, that all States have a legal interest in its observance. In order to bring a claim in respect of the breach of such an obligation, a State must first establish its right to do so, for the rules on the subject rest on two suppositions:
"The first is that the defendant State has broken an obligation towards the national State in respect of its nationals. The second is that only the party to whom an international obligation is due can bring a claim in respect of its breach." (Reparation for Injuries Suffered in the Service of the United Nations, Advisory Opinion,
I.C. J. Reports 1949, pp. 181-182.)
(38) In this field international law is called upon to recognize institutions of municipal law [corporate entity] that have an important and extensive role in the international field