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GUYANA to file pleadings in ICJ border case against Venezuela by March 8 2022

Featured Map of Guyana and Venezuela, showing the area of Guyana being claimed by Venezuela as it opposes the 1899 Arbital award. Map of Guyana and Venezuela, showing the area of Guyana being claimed by Venezuela as it opposes the 1899 Arbital award.
MONTEGO BAY, March 18, 2021 - As the border dispute continues between the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, over the legal validity and binding effect of the Award regarding the Boundary between the Colony of British Guiana and the United States of Venezuela, of 3 October 1899, there has been yet another development in the case.

Further to its ruling late last year, and in an Order issued on March 8, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has given Guyana and Venezuela twelve months in which to file written pleadings to the court on the merits of their case.

The ICJ Explained that following its Judgment on the 18th of December 2020, where the Court found that it has jurisdiction to entertain the Application filed by Guyana on 29 March 2018 in so far as it concerns the validity of the Arbitral Award of October 3, 1899 and the related question of the definitive settlement of the land boundary dispute between Guyana and Venezuela, Guyana requested a period of nine months, from the date of the Order fixing the time-limits, for the preparation of its Memorial.

At the same meeting, Venezuela expressed its disagreement with the Judgment rendered by the Court on 18 December 2020, arguing that the “Agreement to Resolve the Controversy between Venezuela and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland over the Frontier between Venezuela and British Guiana” signed at Geneva on 17 February 1966 could not afford a basis for the Court’s jurisdiction as it provided that the controversy had to be amicably resolved in a manner acceptable to both parties.

Venezuela further indicated that it had not yet decided on its position in relation to the proceedings and that, in light of the alleged serious implications of the Court’s December 2020 Judgment for its sovereignty, it was required by its Constitution to conduct popular consultations on the matter, it faced a number of other difficulties in preparing its pleading and therefore requested a period of 12 to 18 months for the preparation of its Counter-Memorial.

The court therefore fixed 8 March 2022 for the Memorial of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana while Venezuela was accorded the 8th of March 2023 for the Counter-Memorial of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and and Reserves the subsequent procedure for further decision.

  • Countries: Guyana

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