1947

ICJ

Conditions of admission of a state to membership in the UN, art 4 UN Advisory opinion

17 November 1947 the GA asked the court Is a UN member which is called upon, by virtue of article 4, to pronounce itself by its vote, either in the SC or GA, on the admission of a state to membership in the UN, juridically entitled to make its consent to the admission dependent on conditions not expressly provided in by paragraph I of said article? Can such member, while recognises the conditions set forth in that provision to be fulfilled by the state concerned, subject its affirmative vote to the additional condition that other states be admitted to the membership of the UN together with that state?

It has been contended that the question put must be regarded as a political one and that, for this reason, it falls outside the jurisdiction of the court. The court cannot attribute a political character to a request which, framed in abstract terms invites it to undertake an essentially judicial task, the interpretation of a treaty provisions It has been contended that the court should not deal with a question couched in abstract terms. That is a mere affirmation devoid of any justification. The court may give an advisory opinion on any legal question abstract or otherwise. It has been maintained that the court cannot reply to the question because it involves an interpretation of the UN charter. Nowhere is any provision to be found forbidding the court, principal judicial organ of the UN to exercise an interpretative function which falls within the normal exercise of its judicial powers