Coronavirus: Int’l Court postpones Guyana/Venezuela border case

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The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has informed Guyana that it has postponed the hearing of the Guyana/Venezuela border case which was slated to commence on March 23, 2020 as a result of the global concerns about the new Coronavirus.

“In the case concerning the Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899 (Guyana V. Venezuela), the International Court of Justice has informed Guyana that the oral proceedings scheduled to begin on March 23, 2020, have been postponed due to the current worldwide health crisis. The Court has further informed that it will give a decision on a new date in due time,” a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted late Monday night.

The ICJ –the highest court in the world – was slated to hold public hearings in the Guyana/Venezuela border case from March 23 to March 27, 2020, at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands.

Guyana in March 2018 submitted its Application to the 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.

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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