Temple of Preah Vihear (Cambodia v. Thailand)
OVERVIEW OF THE CASE
Cambodia complained that Thailand had occupied a piece of its territory surrounding the ruins of the Temple of Preah Vihear, a place of pilgrimage and worship for Cambodians, and asked the Court to declare that territorial sovereignty over the Temple belonged to it and that Thailand was under an obligation to withdraw the armed detachment stationed there since 1954. Thailand filed preliminary objections to the Court’s jurisdiction, which were rejected in a Judgment given on 26 May 1961. In its Judgment on the merits, rendered on 15 June 1962, the Court noted that a Franco-Siamese Treaty of 1904 provided that, in the area under consideration, the frontier was to follow the watershed line, and that a map based on the work of a Mixed Delimitation Commission showed the Temple on the Cambodian side of the boundary. Thailand asserted various arguments aimed at showing that the map had no binding character. One of its contentions was that the map had never been accepted by Thailand or, alternatively, that if Thailand had accepted it, it had done so only because of a mistaken belief that the frontier indicated corresponded to the watershed line. The Court found that Thailand had indeed accepted the map and concluded that the Temple was situated on Cambodian territory. It also held that Thailand was under an obligation to withdraw any military or police force stationed there and to restore to Cambodia any objects removed from the ruins since 1954.
This overview is provided for information only and in no way involves the responsibility of the Court.