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Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)

Proceedings joined with Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) on 2 February 2017

Overview of the case

On 25 February 2014, Costa Rica instituted proceedings against Nicaragua with regard to a “[d]ispute concerning maritime delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean”. Noting that the two States had exhausted diplomatic means to resolve their maritime boundary disputes, Costa Rica requested the Court to determine the complete course of a single maritime boundary between all the maritime areas appertaining, respectively, to Costa Rica and to Nicaragua in the Caribbean Sea and in the Pacific Ocean, on the basis of international law. It considered that their coasts generate overlapping entitlements to areas on either side of the isthmus.

By an Order of 31 May 2016, the Court decided to arrange for an expert opinion to help establish factual matters relevant for the purpose of settling the dispute submitted to it. By an Order of 16 June 2016, it appointed Mr. Eric Fouache and Mr. Francisco Gutiérrez as the two independent experts, whose task was to determine the state of the coast between the point suggested by Costa Rica and the point suggested by Nicaragua in their pleadings as the starting-point of the maritime boundary in the Caribbean Sea.

In view of the claims made by Costa Rica in the case concerning the Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and the close link between those claims and certain aspects of the dispute in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua), by an Order of 2 February 2017, the Court joined the two proceedings.

After holding hearings on the merits of the joined cases from 3 to 13 July 2017, the Court delivered its Judgment in the joined cases on 2 February 2018 in which it, inter alia, determined the course of the single maritime boundaries between Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. In particular, it decided that the maritime boundary between the two States in the Caribbean Sea shall follow the course set out in paragraphs 106 and 158 of the Judgment, and that the maritime boundary between Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the Pacific Ocean shall follow the course set out in paragraphs 175 and 201 of the Judgment.


This overview is provided for information only and in no way involves the responsibility of the Court.

Institution of proceedings

Written proceedings

Oral proceedings

Verbatim record 2017/7

Public sitting held on Monday 3 July 2017, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the cases concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and the Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2017/8

Public sitting held on Monday 3 July 2017, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the cases concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and the Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2017/9

Public sitting held on Tuesday 4 July 2017, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the cases concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and the Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2017/10

Public sitting held on Thursday 6 July 2017, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the cases concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2017/11

Public sitting held on Friday 7 July 2017, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the cases concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2017/12

Public sitting held on Friday 7 July 2017, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the cases concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2017/13

Public sitting held on Monday 10 July 2017, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the cases concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2017/14

Public sitting held on Monday 10 July 2017, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the cases concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2017/15

Public sitting held on Thursday 13 July 2017, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the cases concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2017/16

Public sitting held on Thursday 13 July 2017, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the cases concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Orders

Order of 1 April 2014

Fixing of time-limits: memorial and counter-memorial
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 31 May 2016

Decision to obtain an expert opinion
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 16 June 2016

Appointment of experts
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 2 February 2017

The Court joins the proceedings in the cases concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and the Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and fixes time limits for the filing of written pleadings in the latter case
Available in:
English French

Judgments

Summaries of Judgments and Orders

Summary 2018/2

Summary of the Judgment of 2 February 2018
Available in:
English French

Press releases

Press release 2014/11

26 February 2014
Costa Rica institutes proceedings against Nicaragua with regard to a "[d]ispute concerning maritime delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean"
Available in:
English French

Press release 2014/16

3 April 2014
Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean - (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) Fixing of time-limits for the filing of the initial pleadings
Available in:
English French

Press release 2016/17

9 June 2016
Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) - The Court to arrange for an expert opinion
Available in:
English French

Press release 2016/20

23 June 2016
Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) - Appointment of experts
Available in:
English French

Press release 2017/8

7 February 2017
Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) - Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) - The Court fixes time-limits for the filing of written pleadings in the case concerning Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and joins the proceedings in the two cases
Available in:
English French

Press release 2017/23

1 June 2017
Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) The Court to hold public hearings from Monday 3 July to Thursday 13 July 2017
Available in:
English French

Press release 2017/29

13 July 2017
Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) - Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) - Conclusion of the public hearings - The Court to begin its deliberation
Available in:
English French

Press release 2018/3

19 January 2018
Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)-Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) - The Court to deliver its Judgment on Friday 2 February 2018
Available in:
English French

Press release 2018/9

2 February 2018
Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) - The Court determines the course of the single maritime boundaries between Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean
Available in:
English French

Correspondence

Correspondence related to the organisation of the expertise ordered by the Court

5 July 2016
Correspondence related to the organisation of the expertise ordered by the Court
Available in:
English French