Convention and statute on the international regime of maritime ports, 1923



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Article 20
This statute does not entail in any way the withdrawal of facilities which are greater than those provided for in the statute and which have been granted in respect of the use of maritime ports under conditions consistent with its principles. This statute also entails no prohibition of such grant of greater facilities in the future.
Article 21
Without prejudice to the provisions of the second paragraph of Article 8, disputes which may arise between Contracting States as to the interpretation or the application of the present statute shall be settled in the following manner: Should it prove impossible to settle such dispute either directly between the parties or by any other method of amicable settlement, the parties to the dispute may, before resorting to any procedure of arbitration or to a judicial settlement, submit the dispute for an advisory opinion to the body established by the League of Nations as the advisory and technical organisation of Members of the League for matters of communications and transit. In urgent cases a preliminary opinion may be given recommending temporary measures, including measures to restore the facilities for international traffic which existed before the act or occurrence which gave rise to the dispute.
Should it prove impossible to settle the dispute by any of the methods of procedure enumerated in the preceding paragraph, the Contracting States shall submit their dispute to arbitration, unless they have decided, or shall decide, under an agreement between them, to bring it before the Permanent Court of International Justice.
Article 22
If the case is submitted to the Permanent Court of International Justice, it shall be heard and determined under the conditions laid down in Article 27 of the statute of the court.
If arbitration is resorted to, and unless the parties decide otherwise, each party shall appoint an arbitrator, and a third member of the arbitral tribunal shall be elected by the arbitrators, or, in case the latter are unable to agree, shall be selected by the Council of the League of Nations from the list of assessors for communications and transit cases mentioned in Article 27 of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice; in such latter case, the third arbitrator shall be selected in accordance with the provisions of the penultimate paragraph of Article 4 and the first paragraph of Article 5 of the Covenant of the League.
The arbitral tribunal shall judge the case on the basis of the terms of reference mutually agreed upon between the parties. If the parties have failed to reach an agreement, the arbitral tribunal, acting unanimously, shall itself draw up terms of reference after considering the claims formulated by the parties; if unanimity cannot be obtained, the Council of the League of Nations shall decide the terms of reference under the conditions laid down in the preceding paragraph. If the procedure is not determined by the terms of reference, it shall be settled by the arbitral tribunal.
During the course of the arbitration the parties, in the absence of any contrary provision in the terms of reference, are bound to submit to the Permanent Court of International Justice any question of international law or question as to the legal meaning of this statute the solution of which the arbitral tribunal, at the request of one of the parties, pronounces to be a necessary preliminary to the settlement of the dispute.
Article 23
It is understood that this statute must not be interpreted as regulating in any way rights and obligations inter se of territories forming part of or placed under the protection of the same sovereign State, whether or not these territories are individually Contracting States.
Article 24
Nothing in the preceding Articles is to be construed as affecting in any way the rights or duties of a Contracting State as member of the League of Nations.

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