International status of South-West Africa Advisory Opinion

The territory of South West Africa was one of the German possessions from which Germany renounced by art 119 Treaty of Versailles. The territory was placed under a Mandate by the League of Nations conferred upon the Union of South Africa. GA asked the opinion. What is the international status of the Territory of South-West Africa ‘The mandate was created in the interest of the inhabitants of the territory and of the humanity in general, as an international institution with and international object – a sacred trust of civilisation. It is therefore not possible to draw any conclusion by analogy from the notion of mandate in national law or any other conception of that law’

The international obligations assumed by South Africa were of two kinds: 1. Directly related to the administration and corresponded to the sacred trust of civilization. 2. Related to the machinery for implementation, and linked to the supervision and control of the League. It corresponded to the securities for the performance of this trust. The 1st group (raison d’etre and object) remain since their fulfilment does not depend of the existence of the League. The 2nd group has not disappeared merely because the supervision organ ceased to exist when the UN had another organ performing similar functions