League of Nations mandate

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A League of Nations mandate was a legal status for certain territories transferred from the control of one country to another following World War I, or the legal instruments that contained the internationally agreed-upon terms for administering the territory on behalf of the League. These were of the nature of both a treaty and constitution which contained minority rights clauses that provided for the right of petition and adjudication by the International Court.[1] The mandate system was established under Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, entered into on 28 June 1919. With the dissolution of the League of Nations after World War II, it was stipulated at the Yalta Conference that the remaining Mandates should be placed under the Trusteeship of the United Nations, subject to future discussions and formal agreements. Most of the remaining mandates of the League of Nations (with the exception of South-West Africa) eventually became United Nations Trust Territories.



Some of the territories subject to League of Nations mandates were previously controlled by states defeated in World War I, principally Imperial Germany and the Ottoman Empire. The mandates were fundamentally different from the protectorates in that the Mandatory power undertook obligations to the inhabitants of the territory and to the League of Nations.

The process of establishing the mandates consisted of two phases:


The divestiture of Germany's overseas territories and three territories disentangled from its Euorpean homeland area, Free City of Danzig, Memel Territory and Saar area, was accomplished in the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, and the territories were allotted among the Allied Powers on May 7, 1919. Ottoman territorial claims were first addressed in the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920 and finalized in the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923. The Turkish territories were allotted among the Allied Powers in the Conference of Sanremo of 1920.

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