Derechos | Equipo Nizkor
Press Release Announcing the ICJ's Schedules for the Public Hearings
in the Bolivia v. Chile Case
16 February 2015
Obligation to Negotiate Access to the Pacific Ocean (Bolivia v. Chile)
The Court to hold public hearings from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May 2015
THE HAGUE, 16 February 2015. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, will hold public hearings in the case concerning the Obligation to Negotiate Access to the Pacific Ocean (Bolivia v. Chile) from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May 2015, at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the seat of the Court.
The hearings will concern solely the preliminary objection to jurisdiction raised by Chile.
Schedule for the public hearings
- First round of oral argument
Monday 4 May 3 p.m.-6 p.m.: Chile Wednesday 6 May 10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Bolivia
- Second round of oral argument
Thursday 7 May 4.30 p.m.-6 p.m.: Chile Friday 8 May 3 p.m.-4.30 p.m.: Bolivia
History of the proceedings
On 24 April 2013, the Plurinational State of Bolivia filed an Application instituting proceedings against the Republic of Chile concerning a dispute in relation to "Chile's obligation to negotiate in good faith and effectively with Bolivia in order to reach an agreement granting Bolivia a fully sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean".
Bolivia's Application contains a summary of the facts -- starting from the independence of that country in 1825 and continuing until the present day -- which, according to Bolivia, constitute "the main relevant facts on which [its] claim is based".
In its Application, Bolivia states that the subject of the dispute lies in "(a) the existence of [the above-mentioned] obligation, (b) the non-compliance with that obligation by Chile, and (c) Chile's duty to comply with the said obligation".
Bolivia asserts inter alia that "beyond its general obligations under international law, Chile has committed itself, more specifically through agreements, diplomatic practice and a series of declarations attributable to its highest-level representatives, to negotiate a sovereign access to the sea for Bolivia". According to Bolivia, "Chile has not complied with this obligation and . . . denies the existence of its obligation".
Bolivia accordingly "requests the Court to adjudge and declare that:
(a) Chile has the obligation to negotiate with Bolivia in order to reach an agreement granting Bolivia a fully sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean;
(b) Chile has breached the said obligation;
(c) Chile must perform the said obligation in good faith, promptly, formally, within a reasonable time and effectively, to grant Bolivia a fully sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean".
As basis for the jurisdiction of the Court, the Applicant invokes Article XXXI of the Pact of Bogota of 30 April 1948, to which both States are parties.
By an Order dated 18 June 2013, the Court fixed 17 April 2014 and 18 February 2015 as respective time-limits for the filing of the Memorial of Bolivia and the Counter-Memorial of Chile. The Memorial was filed within the time-limit thus fixed.
On 15 July 2014, Chile, referring to Article 79, paragraph 1, of the Rules, filed a preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of the Court in the case. In accordance with paragraph 5 of the same Article, the proceedings on the merits were then suspended.
In its preliminary objection Chile contends inter alia that Article VI of the Pact of Bogota excludes Bolivia's claim from the jurisdiction of the Court because it concerns matters settled and governed by the 1904 Peace Treaty.
By an Order of 15 July, the President of the Court fixed 14 November 2014 as the time-limit for the filing by Bolivia of a written statement of its observations and submissions on the preliminary objection raised by Chile. Bolivia's written statement was filed within the time-limit thus fixed.
In its written statement Bolivia observes inter alia that the claim submitted to the Court is independent of the 1904 Treaty, and that this precludes the application of Article VI of the Pact of Bogota as an obstacle to the Court's jurisdiction.
[Source: International Court of Justice, The Hague, 16Feb15]
DDHH en Bolivia
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