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Legal Status of Eastern Greenland (Norway v. Denmark)

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    Bloomberg Law

    Citation. Court of Int’l Justice, 1993 P.C.I.J. (ser. A/B) No. 53 at 71

    Brief Fact Summary. The statement made by the Norwegian Minister was claimed to be binding on his country by Denmark (P).


    Synopsis of Rule of Law.  A country is bound by the reply given on its behalf by its Minister of Foreign Affairs.


    Facts. The agreement not to obstruct Danish (P) plans with regard to Greenland was what Denmark wanted to obtain from Norway (D). To this request, a declaration on behalf of the Norwegian government (D) was made by its Minister for Foreign Affairs that Norway (D) would not make any difficulty in the settlement of the question.


    Issue. Is a country bound by the reply given on its behalf by its Minister of Foreign Affairs?


    Held. Yes. A country is bound by the reply given on its behalf by its Minister of Foreign Affairs. Therefore in this case, the response by the diplomatic representative of a foreign power is binding upon the country the Minister represents.


    Discussion. The main source of international law on treaties is the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. The Convention was ratified by 35 countries but not by the United States. Unilateral statements may also be binding on states.



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