ICJ retires for deliberation in Guyana’s case against Venezuela.

─petition over court’s jurisdiction heard on Tuesday.

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Guyana has presented its arguments that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has jurisdiction to hear its border dispute case against Venezuela.

Those arguments were put forward on Tuesday by a team of international lawyers led by Sir Shridath Ramphal, Guyana’s Co-Agent in the matter against Venezuela.

Guyana argued that the court’s jurisdiction is derived from two sources in combination.

“First, the agreement to resolve the controversy over the frontier between Venezuela and British Guiana signed at Geneva on 17 February 1966 and second, the decision of the Secretary-General of the UN pursuant to Article 4(2) of that agreement that the controversy shall be resolved by the International Court of Justice, ”stated Attorney-at-Law, Paul Reichler who presented on behalf of Guyana.

Altogether four presenters targeted different aspects – the Parris Accord, Geneva Agreement; the UN Secretary-General’s arrival at identifying the ICJ to hear the dispute and the general arrival to the dispute.

Further, in its argument, Guyana contended that the Geneva agreement is quite clear when it outlined that the Secretary-General’s decision on the matter of settlement was final.

“Article 4 (2) states expressly that if the parties are unable to agree on the means of settlement or on an appropriate international organ to choose the means of settlement “they shall refer the decision on the means of settlement to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. This makes clear that the Secretary-General was conferred with the power to make a decision on the means of settlement.” Reichler added.

In his opening presentation, Sir Shridath Ramphal, Guyana’s Co-Agent in the matter, maintained that a juridical settlement of this matter is the only recourse remaining as Guyana has exhausted all other measures.

Guyana’s case is based in the plain text of the Geneva Agreement.

“A hundred and twenty years have passed since international law spoke, during that time colonization in British Guiana came to an end and Guyana has now enjoyed more than 50 years of Independence.” Sir Shridath Ramphal stated with regards to how long the matter has been ongoing.

As the case adjourned for deliberation, ICJ President, Abdulqawi Yusuf said an announcement will be made with regards to the date of judgement.


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