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.