On 21 April 2022, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will deliver its judgment in the case concerning Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea, instituted by Nicaragua against Colombia in 2022.
Our partner Jean-Marc Thouvenin, assisted by Luke Vidal and Lefa Mondon, argued for Colombia during the oral pleadings in September 2021 in The Hague. Since 2016, he has been counsel to Colombia on this case, but also on the other proceedings still pending before the ICJ concerning the Question of the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf between these two countries.
The facts of the case on which the ICJ will issue its decision on 21 April can be summarised as follows.
By a judgment of 19 November 2012, the International Court of Justice decided on the conflicting claims of Nicaragua and Colombia to certain islands in the Western Caribbean Sea, as well as on the delimitation of the maritime areas belonging to each of these two States in that sea.
Almost exactly one year later, Nicaragua initiated the proceedings on the Alleged Violations, claiming that certain rights it claims to have over the maritime areas recognised to it by the ICJ are violated by Colombia. In response, Colombia formally contested these allegations and countered that it was Nicaragua, through its infringement of the traditional fishing rights of the Colombian islanders and the drawing of irregular straight baselines, that was in violation of international law in the Western Caribbean Sea.