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The Nationality Decrees Case, or, Of Intimacy and Consent

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 March 2004

Abstract

International lawyers, especially human rights lawyers, praise the Nationality Decrees decision as a watershed in the progressive expansion of international jurisdiction. Reexamination of the case challenges this understanding. The case proves to have involved a confrontation between rival colonial conceptions: French stress on the intimacy of an imperial tuteur with its protégés versus British focus on consent to subordination. Reexamination also reveals the decision as highly restrained, rejecting a French call for a judicially formulated colonial code. The case's protagonists bequeathed a conflicted conceptual legacy concerning international authority and nationality policy in whose wake debates about today's new internationalism follow. [Un protectorat] reste encore, à quelques égards tout au moins, au dehors, en marge, de façon qu'il y ait un dernier effort, un dernier acte à accomplir pour que ce territoire, qui reste nominalement, par une subtilité juridique, séparé du territoire national, s'y touve enfin réuni.[A protectorate] remains, in certain respects at least, outside, in the margin; so that a final exertion, a final act remains to be performed; in order that this territory which remains by a legal nicety nominally separated from the national territory may be finally united to it.Alfred de Lapradelle, French Oral Argument, Nationality Decrees Case

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ARTICLES
Copyright
© 2000 Kluwer Law International

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