No. 179
Editorial Note

In response to the Government of the United Kingdom’s application, on May 26, 1951, to the International Court of Justice to institute legal proceedings against the Government of Iran for its nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company’s holdings, the International Court of Justice conducted public hearings on the dispute at The Hague, June 9–23, 1952.

At the initial session on June 9, Prime Minister Mosadeq appeared to present arguments of a moral and political nature to justify Iran’s nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company’s properties. Henri Rolin, Professor of International Law at Brussels University, presented the legal arguments on the question of the International Court of Justice’s competence in the case at subsequent hearings and requested the Court to declare that it lacked jurisdiction in the case and to find that the British claims were inadmissible.

The Court heard Sir Eric Beckett, Legal Adviser of the British Foreign Office, and his assistant, Sir Lionel Heald, on behalf of the [Page 393]Government of the United Kingdom. They, in turn, requested the Court to declare that it had jurisdiction to entertain the United Kingdom’s claim that in nationalizing its oil industry, Iran had violated its treaty obligations to the United Kingdom and had therefore acted illegally.

Materials regarding these hearings are in file 788.13.