$660M approved for legal fees in border case
The Guyana Government has set aside some $660 million in the 2022 National Budget to cover legal fees associated with the Guyana/Venezuela border case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
This was revealed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation Hugh Todd as he responded to questions from Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Amanza Walton-Desir during the consideration of the budget estimates on Monday night.
Todd revealed no other details on the case and Guyana’s legal team but the monies were approved by the Committee of Supply.
Guyana, on March 29, 2018, filed its application instituting proceedings against Venezuela over its disagreement on the legal validity and binding effect of the October 3, 1899 Award.
Four years later, Guyana will on March 8, 2022, submit its memorial on the border controversy with Venezuela on March 8, 2022.
Guyana is seeking a final and binding judgment that the 1899 Arbitral Award, which established the location of the land boundary between the then-British Guiana and Venezuela, remains valid and binding, and that Guyana’s Essequibo region belongs to Guyana and not Venezuela, as is being claimed by the Spanish-speaking country.
Venezuela is maintaining a claim to some 70 per cent of Guyana’s land – the Essequibo region – including Guyana’s offshore oil reserves, arguing that the 1899 agreement is null and void.
In a 1966 Agreement signed in Geneva, Venezuela consented to allow the UN Secretary-General to decide on the means of settlement of this controversy.
After other engagements failed, the Secretary-General decided on the International Court of Justice.