Inadequate intergovernmental legal systems
Inadequacy of international legislation
A judgement which is valid and enforceable in the country in which it is rendered may not be recognized or enforced against a person or property located in another country. Thus the administration of justice may be frustrated by national boundaries.
The acceptance of the International Court of Justice as an instrument of international justice has never been strong. In 1920 the Committee of Jurist which prepared the statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice, the forerunner of the International Court of Justice, had proposed a system of true compulsory jurisdiction based upon the unilateral application to the court by the complaining state. This idea encountered strong opposition, particularly from the great powers of that epoch. In the end a proposal was adopted whereby the compulsory jurisdiction arose only by means of a unilateral declaration of a state indicating its acceptance of the jurisdiction of the court, and was not to implied directly in the statute of the court. When the architects of the United Nations considered the court's role, it affirmed the compromise solution under the League of Nations. When accepting the compulsory jurisdiction of the court, states tended, nevertheless, to append reservations to their acceptance of compulsory jurisdiction. Frequently, states excluded disputed where there were other methods of resolving them. These reservations and others tended to undermind the authority of the court. The authority of the court was further impaired by its reversal of a decision to accept jurisdiction of a case brought in the 1950s by Ethiopia and Liberia against South Africa to enforce the mandate conferred after the First World War by the League of Nations in respect of South-West Africa, Namibia. Since then no issue of major political importance has come before the court.