Nottebohm Case Liechtenstein v Guatemala

1951, December, Liechtenstein instituted proceedings claiming restitution and compensation by Guatemala for acts ‘towards the person and property of Mr Friedrich Nottebohm, a citizen of Liechtenstein, contrary to IL’ Nottebohm was born in Hamburg, and was German when apply for naturalization in Liechtenstein 1939 1905 He went to Guatemala and took up residence to make business. He continued his residence there until 1943 when the events of the dispute took place. Visiting a brother, asked for and obtained a Liechtenstein passport, with it Nottebohm visited the Consul of Guatemala in Zurich and asked for a visa in 1939. He Returned to Guatemala 1940 Liechtenstein argued that Guatemala formerly recognised the naturalisation which it now challenges and cannot put now a contention inconsistent with its former attitude. This contention was rejected because it was related to control of aliens in Guatemala and not to exercise of diplomatic protection

It is for every sovereign state to settle by its own legislation the rules relating to the acquisition of its nationality. To exercise protection, to apply to the court, is to place oneself on the plane of IL. It is IL which determines whether a State is entitled to exercise protection and to seize the court. In cases of dual nationality, arbitrator have given preference to the real and effective nationality based on stronger factual ties between the person concerned and one of the states whose nationality is involved. This notion is involved in art 3.2 ICJ A state cannot claim that the rules it has laid down are entitled to recognition by another state unless it has acted in conformity with this general aim of making the legal bound of nationality accord with the individual’s genuine connection with the state which assumes the defence of its citizens by means of protection as against other states. Nationality is a legal bound having as its basis a social fact of attachment, a genuine connection of existence, interest and sentiments Liechtenstein is not entitled to extend its protection to Nottebohm vis a vis Guatemala and its claim, for this reason, is inadmissible.