Norwegian Loans Case France v Norway

France brought this claim against Norway under the Optional Clause, on behalf of French holders of Norwegian bonds French declaration: ‘this declaration does not apply to differences relating to matters which are essentially within the national jurisdiction as understood by the Government of the French Republic’ Norway alleged: The Norway government did not insert any such reservation in its own declaration, but has the right to rely upon the restriction placed by France upon her own undertakings.

Jurisdiction of the court depends upon the declarations made by the parties in accordance with 36, 2 on condition of reciprocity … such jurisdiction is conferred upon the court only to the extent to which the declarations coincide in conferring it…. The French declaration accepts the court’s jurisdiction within narrower limits than the Norwegian declaration; consequently the common will of the parties, which is the basis of the courts jurisdiction, exists within these narrower limits indicated by the French declaration. The court considers that the Norwegian government is entitled, by virtue of the condition of reciprocity, to invoke the reservation contained in the French declaration … consequently the court is without jurisdiction to entertain the application.