Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. (United Kingdom v. Iran)
OVERVIEW OF THE CASE
In 1933 an oil concession agreement was concluded between the Government of Iran and the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. In 1951, laws were passed in Iran for the nationalization of the oil industry. These laws resulted in a dispute between Iran and the company. The United Kingdom took up the company’s case and instituted proceedings before the Court. Iran disputed the Court’s jurisdiction. In its Judgment of 22 July 1952, the Court decided that it had no jurisdiction to deal with the dispute. Its jurisdiction depended on the declarations by Iran and the United Kingdom accepting the Court’s compulsory jurisdiction under Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Court’s Statute. The Court held that the declaration by Iran, which was ratified in 1932, covered only disputes based on treaties concluded by Iran after that date, whereas the claim of the United Kingdom was directly or indirectly based on treaties concluded prior to 1932. The Court also rejected the view that the agreement of 1933 was both a concessionary contract between Iran and the company and an international treaty between Iran and the United Kingdom, since the United Kingdom was not a party to the contract. The position was not altered by the fact that the concessionary contract was negotiated through the good offices of the Council of the League of Nations. By an Order of 5 July 1951, the Court had indicated interim measures of protection, that is, provisional measures for protecting the rights alleged by either party, in proceedings already instituted, until a final judgment was given. In its Judgment, the Court declared that the Order had ceased to be operative.
This overview is provided for information only and in no way involves the responsibility of the Court.