International Court to hear Guyana/Venezuela border case March 23-27


The International Court of Justice (ICJ) –the highest court in the world – will hold public hearings in the Guyana/Venezuela border case from March 23 to March 27, 2020, at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands.

The ICJ on Thursday informed the Government of Guyana that “the hearings will give the parties to the case the possibility to address the question of the jurisdiction of the Court.”

Guyana in March 2018 submitted its Application to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) requesting the Court to confirm the legal validity and binding effect of the 1899 Arbitral Award regarding the boundary between Guyana and Venezuela.

However, Venezuela refused to participate in the procedure and opted to instead challenge the court’s authority to settle the decade-old controversy.

Guyana will present on Monday, March 23, between 10:00hrs to 13:00hrs. Venezuela will follow on Tuesday and the second round of argument will follow in the same order on Wednesday and Thursday.

The hearings will be streamed on the Court’s website.

The Government of Guyana has stated that whether it’s Spanish speaking neighbour participates in the process or not, Venezuela still has to respect the ruling of the court. 

The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It was established by the UN Charter in June 1945 and began its activities in April 1946. The court has 15 Judges elected for a nine-year term by the General Assembly and the Security Council of the UN.

The court has a role to settle legal disputes submitted by countries and to give advisory opinions on legal questions. A ruling from the court is without appeal.

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