PROTOCOL FOR THE PACIFIC SETTLEMENT OF INTERNATIONAL DISPUTES.
Animated by the firm desire to ensure the maintenance of general peace and
the security of nations whose existence, independence or territories may be
Recognising the solidarity of the members of the international community;
Asserting that a war of aggression constitutes a violation of this
solidarity and an international crime;
Desirous of facilitating the complete application of the system provided in
the Covenant of the League of Nations for the pacific settlement of
disputes between States and of ensuring the repression of international
For the purpose of realising, as contemplated by Article 8 of the Covenant,
the reduction of national armaments to the lowest point consistent with
national safety and the enforcement by common action of international
The Undersigned, duly authorised to that effect, agree as follows:
The signatory States undertake to make every effort in their power to
secure the introduction into the Covenant of amendments on the lines of the
provisions contained in the following articles.
They agree that, as between themselves, these provisions shall be binding
as from the coming into force of the present Protocol and that, so far as
they are concerned, the Assembly and the Council of the League of Nations
shall thenceforth have power to exercise all the rights and perform all the
duties conferred upon them by the Protocol.
The signatory States agree in no case to resort to war either with one
another or against a State which, if the occasion arises, accepts all the
obligations hereinafter set out, except in case of resistance to acts of
aggression or when acting in agreement with the Council or the Assembly of
the League of Nations in accordance with the provisions of the Covenant and
of the present Protocol.
The signatory States undertake to recognise as compulsory, ipso facto and
without special agreement, the jurisdiction of the Permanent Court of
International Justice in the cases covered by paragraph 2 of Article 36 of
the Statute of the Court, but without prejudice to the right of any State,
when acceding to the special protocol provided for in the said Article and
opened for signature on December 16th, 1920, to make reservations
compatible with the said clause.
Accession to this special protocol, opened for signature on December 16th,
1920, must be given within the month following the coming into force of the
States which accede to the present Protocol, after its coming into force,
must carry out the above obligation within the month following their
With a view to render more complete the provisions of paragraphs 4, 5, 6,
and 7 of Article 15 of the Covenant, the signatory States agree to comply
with the following procedure:
1. If the dispute submitted to the Council is not settled by it as
provided in paragraph 3 of the said Article 15, the Council shall
endeavour to persuade the parties to submit the dispute to judicial
settlement or arbitration.
2. (a) If the parties cannot agree to do so, there shall, at the request
of at least one of the parties, be constituted a Committee of
Arbitrators. The Committee shall so far as possible be constituted by
agreement between the parties.
(b) If within the period fixed by the Council the parties have failed
to agree, in whole or in part, upon the number, the names and the
powers of the arbitrators and upon the procedure, the Council shall
settle the points remaining in suspense. It shall with the utmost
possible despatch select in consultation with the parties the
arbitrators and their President from among persons who by their
nationality, their personal character and their experience, appear to
it to furnish the highest guarantees of competence and impartiality.
(c) After the claims of the parties have been formulated, the
Committee of Arbitrators, on the request of any party, shall through
the medium of the Council request an advisory opinion upon any points
of law in dispute from the Permanent Court of International Justice,
which in such case shall meet with the utmost possible despatch.
3. If none of the parties asks for arbitration, the Council shall again
take the dispute under consideration. If the Council reaches a report
which is unanimously agreed to by the members thereof other than the
representatives of any of the parties to the dispute, the signatory
States agree to comply with the recommendations therein.
4. If the Council fails to reach a report which is concurred in by all
its members, other than the representatives of any of the parties to
the dispute, it shall submit the dispute to arbitration. It shall
itself determine the composition, the powers and the procedure of the
Committee of Arbitrators and, in the choice of the arbitrators, shall
bear in mind the guarantees of competence and impartiality referred
to in paragraph 2 (b) above.
5. In no case may a solution, upon which there has already been a
unanimous recommendation of the Council accepted by one of the
parties concerned, be again called in question.
6. The signatory States undertake that they will carry out in full good
faith any judicial sentence or arbitral award that may be rendered
and that they will comply, as provided in paragraph 3 above, with the
solutions recommended by the Council. In the event of a State failing
to carry out the above undertakings, the Council shall exert all its
influence to secure compliance therewith. If it fails therein, it
shall propose what steps should be taken to give effect thereto, in
accordance with the provision contained at the end of Article 13 of
the Covenant. Should a State in disregard of the above undertakings
resort to war, the sanctions provided for by Article 16 of the
Covenant, interpreted in the manner indicated in the present
Protocol, shall immediately become applicable to it.
7. The provisions of the present article do not apply to the settlement
of disputes which arise as the result of measures of war taken by one
or more signatory States in agreement with the Council or the
The provisions of paragraph 8 of Article 15 of the Covenant shall continue
to apply in proceedings before the Council.
If in the course of an arbitration, such as is contemplated in Article 4
above, one of the parties claims that the dispute, or part thereof, arises
out of a matter which by international law is solely within the domestic
jurisdiction of that party, the arbitrators shall on this point take the
advice of the Permanent Court of International Justice through the medium
of the Council. The opinion of the Court shall be binding upon the
arbitrators, who, if the opinion is affirmative, shall confine themselves
to so declaring in their award.
If the question is held by the Court or by the Council to be a matter
solely within the domestic jurisdiction of the State, this decision shall
not prevent consideration of the situation by the Council or by the
Assembly under Article 11 of the Covenant.
If in accordance with paragraph 9 of Article 15 of the Covenant a dispute
is referred to the Assembly, that body shall have for the settlement of the
dispute all the powers conferred upon the Council as to endeavouring to
reconcile the parties in the manner laid down in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of
Article 15 of the Covenant and in paragraph 1 of Article 4 above.
Should the Assembly fail to achieve an amicable settlement:
If one of the parties asks for arbitration, the Council shall proceed to
constitute the Committee of Arbitrators in the manner provided in
sub-paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of paragraph 2 of Article 4 above.
If no party asks for arbitration, the Assembly shall again take the dispute
under consideration and shall have in this connection the same powers as
the Council. Recommendations embodied in a report of the Assembly, provided
that it secures the measure of support stipulated at the end of paragraph
10 of Article 15 of the Covenant, shall have the same value and effect, as
regards all matters dealt with in the present Protocol, as recommendations
embodied in a report of the Council adopted as provided in paragraph 3 of
Article 4 above.
If the necessary majority cannot be obtained, the dispute shall be
submitted to arbitration and the Council shall determine the composition,
the powers and the procedure of the Committee of Arbitrators as laid down
in paragraph 4 of Article 4.
In the event of a dispute arising between two or more signatory States,
these States agree that they will not, either before the dispute is
submitted to proceedings for pacific settlement or during such proceedings,
make any increase of their armaments or effectives which might modify the
position established by the Conference for the Reduction of Armaments
provided for by Article 17 of the present Protocol, nor will they take any
measure of military, naval, air, industrial or economic mobilisation, nor,
in general, any action of a nature likely to extend the dispute or render
it more acute.
It shall be the duty of the Council, in accordance with the provisions of
Article 11 of the Covenant, to take under consideration any complaint as to
infraction of the above undertakings which is made to it by one or more of
the States parties to the dispute. Should the Council be of opinion that
the complaint requires investigation, it shall, if it deems it expedient,
arrange for enquiries and investigations in one or more of the countries
concerned. Such enquiries and investigations shall be carried out with the
utmost possible despatch, and the signatory States undertake to afford
every facility for carrying them out.
The sole object of measures taken by the Council as above provided is to
facilitate the pacific settlement of disputes and they shall in no way
prejudge the actual settlement.
If the result of such enquiries and investigations is to establish an
infraction of the provisions of the first paragraph of the present Article,
it shall be the duty of the Council to summon the State or States guilty of
the infraction to put an end thereto. Should the State or States in
question fail to comply with such summons, the Council shall declare them
to be guilty of a violation of the Covenant or of the present Protocol, and
shall decide upon the measures to be taken with a view to end as soon as
possible a situation of a nature to threaten the peace of the world.
For the purposes of the present Article decisions of the Council may be
taken by a two-thirds majority.
The signatory States undertake to abstain from any act which might
constitute a threat of aggression against another State.
If one of the signatory States is of opinion that another State is making
preparations for war, it shall have the right to bring the matter to the
notice of the Council.
The Council, if it ascertains that the facts are as alleged, shall proceed
as provided in paragraphs 2, 4, and 5 of Article 7.
The existence of demilitarised zones being calculated to prevent aggression
and to facilitate a definite finding of the nature provided for in Article
10 below, the establishment of such zones between States mutually
consenting thereto is recommended as a means of avoiding violations of the
The demilitarised zones already existing under the terms of certain
treaties or conventions, or which may be established in future between
States mutually consenting thereto, may at the request and at the expense
of one or more of the conterminous States, be placed under a temporary or
permanent system of supervision to be organised by the Council.
Every State which resorts to war in violation of the undertakings contained
in the Covenant or in the present Protocol is an aggressor. Violation of
the rules laid down for a demilitarised zone shall be held equivalent to
resort to war.
In the event of hostilities having broken out, any State shall be presumed
to be an aggressor, unless a decision of the Council, which must be taken
unanimously, shall otherwise declare:
1. If it has refused to submit the dispute to the procedure of pacific
settlement provided by Articles 13 and 15 of the Covenant as
amplified by the present Protocol, or to comply with a judicial
sentence or arbitral award or with a unanimous recommendation of the
Council, or has disregarded a unanimous report of the Council, a
judicial sentence or an arbitral award recognising that the dispute
between it and the other belligerent State arises out of a matter
which by international law is solely within the domestic jurisdiction
of the latter State; nevertheless, in the last case the State shall
only be presumed to be an aggressor if it has not previously
submitted the question to the Council or the Assembly, in accordance
with Article 11 of the Covenant.
2. If it has violated provisional measures enjoined by the Council for
the period while the proceedings are in progress as contemplated by
Article 7 of the present Protocol.
Apart from the cases dealt with in paragraphs 1 and 2 of the present
Article, if the Council does not at once succeed in determining the