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NCJ Number: 78610 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Role of the International Court in the Hostages Crisis
Journal: Connecticut Law Review  Volume:13  Issue:2  Dated:(Winter 1981)  Pages:263-289
Author(s): M W Janis
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 27
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
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NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The decisions and role of the U.S. Government and the International Court of Justice in the dispute concerning the American hostages in Iran are evaluated.
Abstract: The U.S. Secretary of State filed an application and request to the Court on November 29, 1979, which recounted the occupation of the U.S. embassy in Tehran by demonstrators and the failure of the Iranian Government to aid embassy personnel. The application also noted that at least 50 Americans, mostly diplomats, were still in captivity and were threatened with having to stand trial as spies. The United States asked the Court to order Iran to release the hostages immediately as well as to take other actions. Iran neither argued before the Court nor submitted formal written arguments, although it did direct two letters to the Court. The Court ruled on December 15, 1979, and on May 24, 1980, that Iran should release the hostages. Analysis of the ways in which the Court might have contributed to the settlement of the hostage crisis and of the decisions made by the United States and the Court leads to the conclusion that although the Court's reputation may have suffered by the rendering of an apparently ineffective judgment, the United States was right to bring the case to the Court and the Court was right to decide it. Nations should take the Court's interests more into account in deciding what cases to bring to the Court. Nations should be aware that when the Court is faced with disputes not easily resolved by judicial settlement, it may suffer a blow to its prestige whether or not it decides to render a decision. Footnotes are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): International Court of Justice; International law; Iran; Overseas personnel security; Terrorist kidnapping; United States of America
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