Before dealing with these questions however the court

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Before dealing with these questions, however, the Court considered that there were two questions of an antecedent character, appertaining to the merits of the case, which might render an enquiry into other aspects of the case unnecessary. One was whether the Mandate still subsisted at all and the other was the question of the Applicants' standing in this phase of the proceedings-i.e. their legal right or interest regarding the subject matter of their claims. As the Court based its Judgment on a finding that the Applicants did not possess such a legal right or interest, it did not pronounce upon the question of whether the Mandate was still in force. Moreover, the Court emphasized that its 1962 decision on the question of competence was given without prejudice to the question of the survival of the Mandate-a question appertaining to the merits of the case, and not in issue in 1962 except in the sense that survival had to be assumed for the purpose of determining the purely jurisdictional issue which was all that was then before the Court. Turning to the basis of its decision in the present proceedings, the Court recalled that the mandates system was instituted by Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. There were three categories of mandates, 'A', 'B' and 'C' mandates, which had, however, various features in common as regards their structure. The principal element of each instrument of mandate consisted of the articles defining the mandatory's powers and its obligations in respect of the inhabitants of the territory and towards the League and its organs. The Court referred to these as the "conduct" provisions. In addition, each instrument of mandate contained articles conferring certain rights relative to the mandated territory directly upon the members of the League as individual States, or in favour of their nationals. The Court referred to rights of this kind as "special interests", embodied in the "special interests" provisions of the mandates. In addition, every mandate contained a jurisdictional clause, which, with a single exception, was in identical terms, providing for a reference of disputes to the Permanent Court of International Justice, which, the Court had found in the first phase of the proceedings, was now, by virtue of Article 37 of the Court's Statute, to be construed as a reference to the present Court. The Court drew a distinction between the "conduct" and the "special interests" provisions of the mandates, the present dispute relating exclusively to the former. The question to be decided was whether any legal right or interest was vested in members of the League of Nations individually a s regards the “conduct” clauses of the mandates i.e., whether the various mandatories had any direct obligation towards the other members of the League individually, as regards the carrying out of the “conduct” provis ions of the mandates. If the answer were that the Applicants could not be regarded as possessing the legal right or interest claimed, then even if the
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