ICJ Rulings Binding?

This article examines the role of the ICJ in territorial disputes and whether countries should fix them amicably and leave it as a last resort.

The Curious Case of the World Court’s Territorial Rulings

By Robert Valencia

There was a moment of glee in Colombia when the International Court of Justice began to announce their verdict over control of the San Andres Archipelago two months ago. After decades of disagreement with Nicaragua, the ICJ ratified Colombia’s sovereignty over the islands and islets.

Then, the ICJ President Peter Tomka read the verdict’s final portion, and it was Nicaragua’s turn to celebrate. The Hague-based Court granted Managua nearly 60 percent of the disputed seas, some 75,000 square meters of maritime territory, threatening the livelihoods of the archipelago’s Colombian residents, who rely on fishing. In response, President Juan Manuel Santos vowed to ignore the ICJ and instead seek a diplomatic solution with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. This is not the first time a UN member country has disobeyed an ICJ verdict, putting the authority and efficacy of the body in question.

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Source: World Policy Blog.

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