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Français

Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)

Proceedings joined with Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) on 2 February 2017

Overview of the case

On 16 January 2017, Costa Rica filed an Application instituting proceedings against Nicaragua relating to a “dispute concerning the precise definition of the boundary in the area of Los Portillos/Harbor Head Lagoon and the establishment of a new military camp by Nicaragua” on the beach of Isla Portillos.

As basis for the jurisdiction of the Court, Costa Rica relied on the declaration it made on 20 February 1973 under Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Statute, and on the declaration made by Nicaragua on 24 September 1929 under Article 36 of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice, which is deemed, pursuant to Article 36, paragraph 5, of the Statute of the present Court, to be acceptance of the latter’s compulsory jurisdiction for the period which it still has to run. In addition, Costa Rica submitted that the Court has jurisdiction “in accordance with the provisions of Article 36, paragraph 1, of its Statute, by virtue of the operation of the American Treaty on Pacific Settlement of Disputes … Article XXXI”.

In its Application, Costa Rica also asked the Court to join, pursuant to Article 47 of the Rules of Court, the proceedings with those concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua).

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, found that Costa Rica has sovereignty over the whole northern part of Isla Portillos, including its coast up to the point at which the right bank of the San Juan River reaches the low-water mark of the coast of the Caribbean Sea, with the exception of Harbor Head Lagoon and the sandbar separating it from the Caribbean Sea, sovereignty over which appertains to Nicaragua within the boundary defined in paragraph 73 of the Judgment. It also found that, by establishing and maintaining a military camp on Costa Rican territory, the Nicaragua has violated the sovereignty of Costa Rica, and that Nicaragua must remove its military camp from Costa Rica territory.


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 2 February 2017

Fixing of time-limits: Memorial and Counter-Memorial; joinder of proceedings
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 2017/1

16 January 2017
Costa Rica institutes proceedings against Nicaragua with regard to a "[d]ispute concerning the precise definition of the boundary in the area of Los Portillos/ Harbor Head Lagoon and the establishment of a new military camp by Nicaragua" on the beach of Isla Portillos
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
Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) - The Court finds that Costa Rica has sovereignty over the whole northern part of Isla Portillos, including its coast (with the exception of Harbor Head Lagoon and the sandbar separating it from the Caribbean Sea), and that Nicaragua must remove its military camp from Costa Rican territory
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