Nuclear Tests Case (Australia v France): ICJ 20 Dec 1974

In its judgment in the case concerning Nuclear Tests (Australia v. France), the Court, by 9 votes to 6, has found that the claim of Australia no longer had any object and that the Court was therefore not called upon to give a decision thereon. In the reasoning of its Judgment, the Court adduces inter alia the following considerations: Even before turning to the questions of jurisdiction and admissibility, the Court has first to consider the essentially preliminary question as to whether a dispute exists and to analyse the claim submitted to it (paras. 22-24 of Judgment); the proceedings instituted before the Court on 9 May 1973 concerned the legality of atmospheric nuclear tests conducted by France in the South Pacific (para. 16 of Judgment); the original and ultimate objective of Australia is to obtain a termination of those tests (paras. 25-31 of Judgment); France, by various public statements made in 1974, has announced its intention, following the completion of the 1974 series of atmospheric tests, to cease the conduct of such tests (paras. 33-44 of Judgment); the Court finds that the objective of Australia has in effect been accomplished, inasmuch as France has undertaken the obligation to hold no further nuclear tests in the atmosphere in the South Pacific (paras. 47-52 of Judgment); the dispute having thus disappeared, the claim no longer has any object and there is nothing on which to give judgment (paras. 55-59 of Judgment).
Good faith is one of the basic principles governing the creation and performance of legal obligations, whatever their source.


[1974] ICJ Rep 253



Cited by:

CitedBorder and Transborder Armed Actions (Nicaragua v Honduras) (1986-1992) ICJ 1988
The court referred to its description of the place of an obligation of a country acting in good faith in the Nuclear Tests case, adding about the basic principle, that good faith ‘is not in itself a source of obligation where none would otherwise . .
CitedRegina v Immigration Officer at Prague Airport and another, ex parte European Roma Rights Centre and others HL 9-Dec-2004
Extension oh Human Rights Beyond Borders
The appellants complained that the system set up by the respondent where Home Office officers were placed in Prague airport to pre-vet applicants for asylum from Romania were dsicriminatory in that substantially more gypsies were refused entry than . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 30 April 2022; Ref: scu.220677