Armenian Cause Foundation Reprints No. 3: “On the Validity of the Treaty of Sevres and the Arbitral Award of Woodrow Wilson” – by Aida Avanessian, PhD in Law

On the centennial of the signing of the Treaty of Sevres (10 August 2020), the Armenian Cause Foundation published No. 3 of its Reprints series. It is a scientific article “On the Validity of the Treaty of Sevres and the Arbitral Award of Woodrow Wilson”, by Aida Avanessian, PhD in Law. The article was first published in 2017, in the “Armenian Yearbook of International and Comparative Law”. It was last revised on 1 May 2020.

The Article submits that, from a purely legal perspective, it is not possible to examine President Wilson’s Award separate from and irrespective of the Treaty of Sevres and its validity. Also, it puts forward a few other legal theories which may assist in reaching a favorable conclusion and, as such, are worthy of further examination and research.

In view of the above, this Article concludes that:

a. The issue of validity of the Treaty of Sevres must be separated from the issue of its enforceability;

b. The Treaty of Sevres was a valid legal document at the time that President Wilson’s Award was issued; and

c. As a result, the Arbitral Award, having been issued under the authority of jurisdiction granted by a valid legal document, itself was and remains a valid legal document.

The publication also includes several appendices:

a) The Treaty of Peace Between the Allied and Associated Powers and Turkey (10 August 1920)

b) From Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1920, Volume III
  – The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France (Wallace) (24 November 1920)
  – President Wilson to the President of the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers (22 November 1920))
  – Decision of President Wilson respecting the Frontier between Turkey and Armenia, Access for Armenia to the Sea, and the Demilitarization of Turkish Territory adjacent to the Armenian Frontier (22 November 1920)

c) Address of President Serzh Sargsyan to the Conference dedicated to the 90th Anniversary of Woodrow Wilson’s Arbitral Award (23 November 2010)

d) Pan-Armenian Declaration on the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide (29 January 2015)

e) President Armen Sarkissian: “The Treaty of Sèvres even today remains an essential document for the right of the Armenian people to achieve a fair resolution of the Armenian issue” (10 August 2020)

f) PM Nikol Pashinyan addresses the conference on 100 years of the signing of Treaty of Sevres (10 August 2020)

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