Interpretation of Declarations
(3,028 words)

paragraph 209 in volume 2, chapter 12, The Compulsory Jurisdiction (Optional Clause)

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The general rule for the interpretation of a declaration is that it ‘must be interpreted as it stands, having regard to the words actually used’.1 If a dispute arises as to what these words mean, the Court will decide in exercise of its power under Article 36, paragraph 6, and while it will no doubt give full weight to any explanations made by the declarant State, these would not restrict the Court’s freedom of decision.2 The Court has given the following explanation of what is i…

Cite this page
Malcolm N. Shaw, “Interpretation of Declarations”, in: Rosenne's Law and Practice of the International Court: 1920-2015. Consulted online on 18 February 2019 <>
First published online: 2017
First print edition: 20161001

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