In a historic judgment, the International Court of Justice has ruled that it has jurisdiction to determine Guyana’s claim against Venezuela that the boundary between the two States was fixed by an 1899 Arbitral Award which remains valid and binding on the parties. In 2018 the Secretary General of the United Nations decided that the longstanding dispute concerning the validity of the 1899 Award should be determined by the Court. Venezuela subsequently objected to the Court’s jurisdiction, challenging the Secretary-General’s power to compel the parties to accept judicial settlement before the Court. Following a hearing in June 2020, on 18 December 2020 the Court ruled by a majority of 12-4 that it has jurisdiction to hear Guyana’s claim.
The Court will now proceed to determine the merits of that claim. Professor Philippe Sands QC and Edward Craven are representing Guyana. A copy of the Court’s judgment isSet featured image available here.