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International Court Refuses to Act on Israel’s Claim Against Bulgaria

The International Court of Justice ruled today it had no competence to deal with Israel’s claim for damages against Bulgaria in the shooting down of an E1 A1 airliner in 1955 with a loss of all 58 lives aboard.

England, Australia and China voted in favor of the Court’s jurisdiction but 12 nations voted against. The ruling was based on agreement with the initial preliminary objection of Bulgaria that a declaration accepting compulsory jurisdiction of the court in 1921 could not be considered as constituting compulsory jurisdiction now. Bulgaria argued she was not a member of the United Nations when the E1 A1 plane was shot down and, therefore, not subject to international court decisions.