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March 29 2018

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Registrar of the International Court of Justice, Philippe Couvreur (l) and Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge (r) (Ministry of Foreign Affairs photo)tured

 

This story is developing and will be updated.

In a historic step, Guyana today filed its application to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) requesting that it confirm the legal validity and binding effect of the 1899 Arbitral Award on the boundary between Guyana and Venezuela.

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today said that the application follows the decision by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to choose the ICJ as the next means of resolving the controversy following Venezuela’s contention that the Arbitral Award of 1899 was null and void.

The application could bring a decisive end to the controversy which has dogged Guyana since its independence and has been exploited by Venezuela to prevent investment in the county of Essequibo.

The statement said that in its application to the Holland-based court, Guyana highlighted that Venezuela had for more than 60 years “consistently recognized and respected the validity and binding force of the 1899 Award and the 1905 Map agreed by both sides in furtherance of the Award”.

The statement added that Venezuela had only altered its position formally in 1962 as the United Kingdom was making final preparations for the independence of British Guiana and “had threatened not to recognize the new State, or its boundaries, unless the United Kingdom agreed to set aside the 1899 Award and cede to Venezuela all of the territory west of the Essequibo River, amounting to some two-thirds of Guyana’s territory”.

According to the statement, Guyana’s application notes that while Venezuela has never produced any evidence to substantiate its belated repudiation of the 1899 Award, “it has used it as an excuse to occupy territory awarded to Guyana in 1899, to inhibit Guyana’s economic development and to violate Guyana’s sovereignty and sovereign rights”.

The statement asserted that the UN Secretary-General’s authority to choose the ICJ – based in The Hague – as a means of resolving the controversy is based on the Geneva Agreement of 1966 which was negotiated just before Guyana gained independence.

On January 30th 2018, Guterres concluded that the Good Offices process which the two countries had engaged in for almost 30 years had failed to achieve a solution to the controversy and therefore chose the ICJ as the next means of settlement.

The application was handed over to Registrar of the ICJ, Philippe Couvreur by Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge who will function as Guyana’s Agent in the proceedings before the court.

According to Greenidge, in filing its application, Guyana has respected the Secretary-General’s decision and placed its faith in the ICJ to “resolve the controversy in accordance with its Statute and jurisprudence, based on the fundamental principles of international law, including the sanctity of treaties, the maintenance of settled boundaries and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States”.

 

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Sure is, the 18 Mil U.S. means no border controversy over oil exploration. But, if Guyana will seek the best international attorneys money can buy, Venezuela may do the same. I understand if the ICJ rule in favor of Guyana, Venezuela is not obligated to abide by the ruling. So, what's your expert opinion on the matter now that the case finally in the International court?

FM
Prince posted:

Sure is, the 18 Mil U.S. means no border controversy over oil exploration. But, if Guyana will seek the best international attorneys money can buy, Venezuela may do the same. I understand if the ICJ rule in favor of Guyana, Venezuela is not obligated to abide by the ruling. So, what's your expert opinion on the matter now that the case finally in the International court?

I putting meh money pan Exxon!

FM

If Venez try any shit Uncle Nehru will be there with his Bazooka. Not a friggin blade of grass!!!!

Bunham said at Nat Park that if Venez take ova dem Gal saltfish gun be in trouble, then he told Patrick Yard no 14 per day minimum wage or I gun salt yuh fish.):

Nehru
Prince posted:

Sure is, the 18 Mil U.S. means no border controversy over oil exploration. But, if Guyana will seek the best international attorneys money can buy, Venezuela may do the same. I understand if the ICJ rule in favor of Guyana, Venezuela is not obligated to abide by the ruling. So, what's your expert opinion on the matter now that the case finally in the International court?

That's the big question. I have a really bad feeling that if the ruling is in favor of Guyana, Maduro might do what Galtieri did in Argentina when they invaded the Malvina/Falkland islands. He might try to rally the Venezuelans under national pride and try to distract them from the failing economy.

GTAngler

If the ruling is in favor of Guyana, any action by Venezuela in contradiction would be deemed illegal.  Russia will encourage them to accept.  If they don’t, Trump will end the regime!

Baseman
Baseman posted:

If the ruling is in favor of Guyana, any action by Venezuela in contradiction would be deemed illegal.  Russia will encourage them to accept.  If they don’t, Trump will end the regime!

That's right. Trump got the devil...John Bolton the counter brush mustache man.

FM
skeldon_man posted:
Baseman posted:

If the ruling is in favor of Guyana, any action by Venezuela in contradiction would be deemed illegal.  Russia will encourage them to accept.  If they don’t, Trump will end the regime!

That's right. Trump got the devil...John Bolton the counter brush mustache man.

By the time this ruling is out, mustache man would be seeking employment unless the ruling comes within a month or so.

cain
Baseman posted:

If the ruling is in favor of Guyana, any action by Venezuela in contradiction would be deemed illegal.  Russia will encourage them to accept.  If they don’t, Trump will end the regime!

That's right. They got the war monger Mustache Brush, Bolton.

FM

Reclamacion is also on the minds of the American-backed right in Venezuela.  The present gov't.  in Venezuela is certainly not in favor with the US but don't count on the Americans to pummel them in the interest of Guyana. Whether Maduro stay or go Guyana still have a problem with Venezuela.

Billy Ram Balgobin
skeldon_man posted:
Baseman posted:

If the ruling is in favor of Guyana, any action by Venezuela in contradiction would be deemed illegal.  Russia will encourage them to accept.  If they don’t, Trump will end the regime!

That's right. They got the war monger Mustache Brush, Bolton.

He will eventually get fired.  Trump talk tough but don’t really intend to do all he rants about. Some things he do follow through with, such as the Syrian strikes for using nerve agents.  He will only attack if the USA is attacked.  The mustashe man is dangerous and will run amok of trump soon.  

Baseman
Billy Ram Balgobin posted:

Reclamacion is also on the minds of the American-backed right in Venezuela.  The present gov't.  in Venezuela is certainly not in favor with the US but don't count on the Americans to pummel them in the interest of Guyana. Whether Maduro stay or go Guyana still have a problem with Venezuela.

But what could they do if the ICJ rules in Guyana’s favor?

Baseman

November hearings set for Venezuela’s objections in border case with Guyana

By OilNOW 0 --- Source --- OilNOW

https://oilnow.gy/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Untitled-design-18-1536x864.jpg

The seat of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has announced that it will hold public hearings in the case concerning the Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899 (Guyana v. Venezuela) – the matter concerning the controversy over the Essequibo region – from November 17-22, 2022.

There will be two rounds of oral arguments during the period. A release from the Court says the hearings will be streamed live.

The hearings will be held in person in the Netherlands at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the seat of the Court, and will be devoted to the preliminary objections raised by Venezuela.

Venezuela submitted the objections earlier this year to the admissibility of the ongoing case, resulting in a suspension of the hearing.

When this happened, the Guyana government, in notifying its people, said the Bolivarian Republic is attempting to delay the ICJ’s final judgment, since previously it had not recognised the jurisdiction of the ICJ to consider the case. Even when the Court ruled that it has the jurisdiction, Venezuela had held steadfast to its position that the Court does not.

The Guyana Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said it would submit its own observations. Nevertheless, Georgetown said that Caracas, by way of making the objection, joined the judicial proceedings.

The two neighbouring nations have been embroiled in a controversy regarding the Arbitral Award of 1899 (Guyana v. Venezuela). Venezuela had started clamouring more about its claim for Guyana’s Essequibo region when oil discoveries by ExxonMobil in the offshore Stabroek block started to pile up. So, Guyana approached the Court in March 2018 asking it to rule on the validity of an 1899 pact that effectively settled the matter.

Demerara_Guy

The Border Controversy: Diplomacy must continue to complement the ICJ Process

By OilNOW 0 --- Source --- OilNOW

https://oilnow.gy/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Dr.-Riyad-Insanally.jpg

Dr. Riyad Insanally

By Dr. Riyad Insanally – OilNOW

On November 17-22, 2022, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will hear submissions from Guyana and Venezuela on the latter’s objections to Guyana’s case seeking to uphold the validity and binding nature of the 1899 Arbitral Award which established the land border between the two countries.

The Guyana Foreign Ministry has called Venezuela’s preliminary objections to the admissibility of the case, which resulted in a suspension of the substantive hearing of the case, a deliberate delaying tactic. Guyana’s Agent for the case, former Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge, has labelled them “frivolous”.

No one in Guyana would disagree with these views. There is no room for complacency, however, as there are reports of increased Venezuelan diplomatic activity, along with an escalated social media campaign, all aimed at presenting – or misrepresenting – Venezuela as the wronged party in the 1899 settlement of the border.

Guyana, quite correctly, places its faith in the rule of international law. There is cautious optimism that Guyana’s outstanding team of international lawyers can deliver a favourable result for Guyana. But we cannot rely only on the strength of our legal arguments. Diplomacy must continue to complement the ICJ process. President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali said as much in his Independence Day address in May, stating that Guyana would not “deviate from the judicial path” while continuing “to marshal the best diplomatic efforts necessary to ensure respect for all our territorial space.”

This is arguably the most critical existential issue faced by Guyana since Independence. Lacking in economic clout or military might, Guyana has always pursued diplomacy as its first line of defence against the Venezuelan threat to its sovereignty and territorial integrity. There can be no lessening of the diplomatic effort even as the lawyers fight the case at the ICJ.

Nor can we afford to underestimate the threat posed by a Venezuela divided by bitter politics and riven by all sorts of economic and social problems. The episodic sabre-rattling next door may be meant to distract Venezuelans from their daily woes but the one thing that unites the opposing parties in Venezuela is the mistaken belief that Essequibo is theirs. And the massive oil reserves being discovered offshore Guyana have only served to intensify their lust for our territory and maritime area. Indeed, there have already been nine new discoveries this year and, along with the Gas-to-Power project, which should make Guyana more energy independent, Caracas may well be fearful of a more assertive Guyana.

Thus, both the Maduro regime and the opposition have sought to outdo each other in nationalistic, anti-Guyana rhetoric, actively promoting their self-serving and fallacious interpretations of the 1899 Award, the Geneva Agreement and the ICJ process.

Successive Guyana Governments have been ever cognisant of Venezuelan propaganda and its reach. Now, more than ever, we have to counter the Venezuelan narrative with nimble and proactive diplomacy, to keep our allies onside, to keep informed those who would prefer to sit on the fence, and to neutralise those who are not so favourably disposed towards us.

It should therefore be standard operating procedure for our political leadership, our diplomatic representatives and other government officials to present, at every opportunity – in multilateral forums, bilateral meetings, academic settings, think tanks and so on – the truth about the 1899 Award, even as they remain alert to Venezuela’s propensity for spreading misinformation.

In the latter respect, it is commendable that Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud has written to Facebook and Twitter, requesting that they remove posts with illegal maps claiming Guyana’s territory. If not already contemplated, a unit with Spanish-language skills should be established at the Foreign Ministry to monitor and counter Venezuelan fake news.

Nothing can be taken for granted, either at the national or international level. Unity of purpose and message is absolutely essential. The experience of Chile in the maritime dispute with Peru, settled by the ICJ in 2014, is instructive. Here are a few of the lessons learned from informal engagements with key members of Chile’s legal team.

While the issue is predominantly a legal one, it is also very much a political one. Chile created a bipartisan team of lawyers and historians to shape the national narrative. There were meetings of former presidents and foreign ministers aimed at informing strategy and reinforcing the national consensus. There were also periodic briefings and a process of consultation at the national level, which involved all sectors, particularly the Supreme Court, the armed forces, academia and civil society. All this because national unity was deemed to be of the utmost strategic importance in the presentation of Chile’s position to the international community. In Guyana’s case, national unity on the border controversy is not in doubt and should be reinforced whenever possible.

While the integrity of the ICJ judges is not in question, it has to be recognised that election to the Court is still a political process. In this context, we have to know about the composition of the Court and the nationalities of the judges. We have to develop closer relations with the countries the judges come from. I am not suggesting that the judges would be easily swayed by political considerations but reinforcing our case with the power of our diplomacy and the presentation of our country in the most positive light should not be underestimated.

With politics a factor, Guyana’s narrative has to be continuously and forcefully repeated at every possible opportunity, as an overriding foreign policy imperative.

We also need to continue to advance our cause in all multilateral groupings to which we belong, such as CARICOM, the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States. For we should never lose sight of the fact that Venezuela’s reach in the developing world is still long.

Regarding our Latin American neighbourhood, we have to tread carefully. Ever since we joined the Organisation of American States (OAS) in 1991, we have deliberately kept the border controversy away from the ambit of that organisation since we could not risk running foul of Latin solidarity with Venezuela. That is why we have always trusted in the primacy of the United Nations (UN). But we should be ever vigilant in the OAS, as well as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the Association of Caribbean States and, quite possibly, a revived Union of South American Nations, even as Guyana’s new status as a quickly growing oil producer and an emerging player in ensuring Latin American and Caribbean energy security could help to change the equation in Guyana’s favour.

When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was considering whether to pass the controversy to the ICJ for settlement and when his successor, Antônio Guterres, made the decision to do so, a significant factor was the quiet backing of key powers in helping the UN authorities arrive at a decision, not only based on international law and a strict interpretation of the Geneva Agreement, but one which would also enjoy widespread political acceptance. Now that the case is before the ICJ, there should be no diminishing of diplomatic efforts to keep our friends apprised and to convince others of the merits of our case. For, if the Court rules in our favour, the weight of international opinion will have to be relied upon to get Venezuela to accept the judgment.

Now, we await the outcome of the next phase of the ICJ process. But we cannot afford to lower our diplomatic guard while we await Venezuela’s next move. If anything, we need to increase diplomatic efforts to keep international opinion well and truly on our side.

About the Author

Dr. Riyad Insanally, CCH was Guyana’s Ambassador to the United States of America and Permanent Representative to the Organisation of American States, from September 2016 to June 2021. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Caribbean Initiative of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

Demerara_Guy

ICJ to hold public hearings for the Guyana/Venezuela border case

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will hold public hearings in the case concerning the Arbitral Award of October 3, 1899 (Guyana v. Venezuela) from November 17 to 22, 2022 at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the seat of the Court.

The hearings will be devoted to the preliminary objections raised by Venezuela in response to Guyana’s submission of its Memorial on the merits of the case. It will be recalled that Guyana brought the matter to the Court in an Application submitted on March 29, 2018. The Court confirmed its jurisdiction over the case, rejecting Venezuela’s objections, in a Judgment issued on December 18, 2020.

On March 8, 2022, Guyana filed its Memorial on the merits of its case against Venezuela. The Spanish-speaking country subsequently filed preliminary objections to the admissibility of Guyana’s Application to the Court to determine the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award.

In accordance with its rules, the Court suspended the proceedings on the merits until the determination by the Court of the matter of Venezuela’s preliminary objections.

The hearings will be streamed live, in English on the Court’s website and on UN Web TV.

The people of Guyana have remained firmly united in the quest to preserve Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. To this end, the Government invited the Leader of the Opposition to name a representative from the combined Opposition to be part of Guyana’s delegation to The Hague. That invitation has been accepted.

Guyana will be represented at the hearings by: Anil Nandlall, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs; Gail Teixeira, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance; Carl Greenidge, Agent of Guyana in the case concerning the Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899; Ambassador Elisabeth Harper, Co-Agent and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation;Donnette Streete, Director of the Frontiers Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation; and Ambassador Ronald Austin, Advisor to the Leader of the Opposition on Frontier matters.

Demerara_Guy

Guyana gov’t names power team for world court hearings on Venezuela border case

By OilNOW 0 --- Source --- OilNOW

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International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague, Netherlands

Guyana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation named a 16-person team for upcoming hearings in the border case with Venezuela, to be held at the seat of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) headquarters, at the Peace Palace in the Hague.

The case concerning the Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899 (Guyana v. Venezuela) will explore preliminary objections raised by Venezuela in response to Guyana’s submissions, from November 17-22, 2022.

The hearings will be devoted to the preliminary objections raised by Venezuela, in June, in response to Guyana’s submission of its Memorial on the merits of the case. In accordance with its rules, the Court had suspended the proceedings on the merits until after the handling of Venezuela’s preliminary objections.

Prior to this, Venezuela had shown no recognition for the Court’s jurisdiction to hear the border case, even stating outright rejection when the Court ruled that it has jurisdiction.

Guyana had noted that by making the objections, Venezuela had officially joined the proceedings.

“The people of Guyana have remained firmly united in the quest to preserve Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Guyana Ministry said.

Guyana’s delegation is constituted as follows:

The Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall, S.C, M.P, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs;

The Hon. Gail Teixeira, M.P, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance;

Mr. Carl Greenidge, Agent of Guyana in the case concerning the Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899;

Ambassador Elisabeth Harper, Co-Agent and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation;

Ms. Donnette Streete, Director of the Frontiers Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation; and

Ambassador Ronald Austin, Advisor to the Leader of the Opposition on Frontier matters.

Guyana is represented in the case before the Court by:

Sir Shridath Ramphal, OE, OCC, KC, Co-Agent and Counsel

Mr. Paul S. Reichler, Attorney-at-Law, Foley Hoag LLP, member of the Bars of the United States Supreme Court and the District of Columbia;

Mr. Alain Pellet, Professor Emeritus of the University Paris Nanterre, former Chairman of the International Law Commission, member of the Institut de droit international

Professor Philippe Sands KC, Professor of International Law at University College London, 11 King’s Bench Walk, London;

Mr. Payam Akhavan, LLM, SJD (Harvard University), Professor of International Law, Senior Fellow, Massey College, University, of Toronto, member of the Bar of New York and the Law Society of Ontario, member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration

Professor Pierre d’Argent, Professor ordinaire, Université Catholique de Louvain, member of the Institut de Droit International, Foley Hoag LLP, member of the Bar of Brussels;

Ms. Christina L. Beharry, Foley Hoag LLP, member of the Bars of the District of Columbia, the State of New York, England and Wales, and the Law Society of Ontario;

Mr. Edward Craven, Barrister, Matrix Chambers, London;

Mr. Juan Pablo Hugues Arthur, Foley Hoag LLP, member of the Bar of the State of New York;

Ms. Isabella F. Uria, Attorney –at-Law, Foley Hoag LLP, member of the Bar of the District of Columbia.

Demerara_Guy

ICJ border case: Guyana seeks dismissal of Venezuela’s preliminary objections

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The team representing Guyana at the Peace Palace, International Court of Justice , Hague, Netherlands.

The hearing in the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy continued before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Tuesday, with Guyana’s Co-Agent and Advisor on Borders, Carl Greenidge, describing Venezuela’s preliminary objections to the case as long on rhetoric but short on facts.

During the hearing at the Hague-based ICJ on Tuesday, presentations were made dismantling Venezuela’s illegitimate claims on Guyana’s territory. Greenidge noted that Venezuela has absolutely failed to articulate proper grounds for its case.

“As will no doubt have been apparent to the Court throughout this hearing, Venezuela’s arguments in support of its preliminary objections have been rather long on allegations and rhetoric and somewhat short on substance. One thing, however, is abundantly clear. Venezuela really does not want this court to determine the merits of Guyana’s claims.

“Why, one might ask, is that the case? Is it that Venezuela is concerned that a judgement in the case will, in its very essence, involve a determination of the rights of the UK? Or is it because Venezuela recognises that the legal and factual merits of Guyana’s claims, are overwhelming and a hearing will yield only one possible outcome?” Greenidge questioned.

He further noted that Venezuela is more interested in continuing to hold onto a falsehood, than a final and legal pronouncement on the truth. He reaffirmed that Guyana has no interest in a negotiation conclusion of the border controversy, but a legal one.

“Instead of proceeding to determine the merits of Guyana’s claim, Venezuela urges the court to decline to exercise jurisdiction. So that the dispute between both parties could instead be resolved through a process of negotiation.”

“By making that argument, Venezuela once again invites the court to condemn the parties to perpetual deadlock. And the indefinite continuation of a controversy which has blighted their relations for the entirety of Guyana’s existence as a sovereign state,” Greenidge, a former Foreign Affairs Minister, said.

Meanwhile, one of Guyana’s international lawyers in the case, King’s Counsel Phillipe Sands noted that Venezuela has so far failed to provide any credible grounds for why the 1899 Arbitral Award should be vacated. Sands, a Professor of International Law at University College London, also pointed out inconsistencies in Professor Christian Tams’s arguments on behalf of Venezuela.

“In the first round, Professor Tams still recognised the need to establish the wrongful conduct of the arbitral tribunal. Although he did shift the argument, in part, to the wrongful conduct of the British Government or its legal team. If a tribunal is corrupt, he said, someone must have corrupted it,” Sands said.

“But in the second round, as I’m sure you will have noticed, the argument had completely changed. The court heard not a single word, about the wrongful conduct of the arbitrators. And now, the case is entirely about the wrongful conduct of the United Kingdom.”

According to the lawyer, Tams’s presentation is premised that the wrongful conduct of a party should invalidate the arbitral award. However, Sands noted that there is no precedent of an arbitral award being set aside because of the conduct of a party or counsel. He noted that it is the conduct of the arbitrators that is relevant.

Venezuela has been seeking to block Guyana from having its substantive application before the ICJ heard, on spurious grounds that include its claims that the United Kingdom should have been made a party to the case instead of Guyana.

Venezuela has also claimed that the 1899 arbitral award is void due to what it claims was fraud by the UK at the time. The ICJ subsequently revealed in a statement that the date for the court to rule on the preliminary objections, will be announced later.

Guyana’s legal team is headed by Co-Agent and Counsel, Sir Shridath Ramphal, and includes member of the Bars of the United States Supreme Court and the District of Columbia, Paul S Reichler; and Professor Emeritus of the University Paris Nanterre, former Chairman of the International Law Commission and member of the Institut de Droit International, Alain Pellet.

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, in January 2018, decided that the case should be settled by the ICJ after exercising the powers vested in him to decide how the controversy should be settled by the 1966 Geneva Agreement between Guyana, Venezuela, and the United Kingdom.

He resorted to judicial settlement after the good offices process between Guyana and Venezuela failed. Within the framework of the 1966 Geneva Agreement between the two countries, the Secretary General conducted good offices from 1990 to 2017 to find a solution to the border controversy.

The Spanish-speaking nation is laying claim to more than two-thirds of Guyana’s landmass in Essequibo and a portion of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in which more than nine billion barrels of oil have been discovered over the past six years.

Guyana, among other things, is asking the ICJ to adjudge and declare that the 1899 Award is valid and binding upon Guyana and Venezuela and that Venezuela is internationally responsible for violations of Guyana’s sovereignty and sovereign rights, and for all injuries suffered by Guyana as a consequence.

Demerara_Guy

Guyana says Venezuela seeking to stall ICJ’s ruling on border controversy

On Tuesday, Guyana presented its closing arguments to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), on the preliminary objections raised by Venezuela on the validity of the October 3, 1899 Arbitral Award.

In his closing remarks at the Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Guyana’s agent in the case Carl Greenidge said that Venezuela’s arguments in support of its preliminary objections have been long on ‘allegations and rhetoric’ and ‘short on substance.’

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Agent of Guyana in the case concerning the Arbitral Award of October 3, 1899, Carl Greenidge (DPI Photo)

Greenidge believes that Venezuela is seeking to stall the court’s ruling on Guyana’s claims that the 1899 Award is valid and that Essequibo belongs to Guyana.

“One thing, however, is abundantly clear, Venezuela really does not want this Court to determine the merits of Guyana’s claims…one cannot escape the conclusion that it is a desire to continue perpetuating a falsehood, rather than a desire to expose and vindicate the truth, that underlies Venezuela’s hostility to the Court hearing Guyana’s claims,” he said.

Instead of proceeding to determine the merits of Guyana’s claims, Venezuela urges the court to decline to exercise its jurisdiction so that the dispute between the parties could be resolved through a process of negotiation.

“All previous efforts to resolve the controversy through mediation or negotiation… [they all] have failed…The only hope of a resolution of the controversy lies in a binding and final determination of Guyana’s claims by this Court,” Greenridge asserted.

He affirmed Guyana’s complete faith and confidence that the Court will proceed to adjudicate those claims independently, impartially and in accordance with international law.

Guyana’s legal team, Professor Pierre d’Argent and Professor Philippe Sands also offered their closing arguments in the case.

In its arguments, Venezuela claimed that the Arbitral Award is invalid because of ‘the fraud committed by the United Kingdom (UK) in the arbitration.’

In rejecting Venezuela’s claims, Professor Sands said the Spanish-speaking country has offered no evidence of any misconduct or wrongdoing by any arbitrator.

“Venezuela’s burden is to prove that one or more of the arbitrators engaged in inappropriate contact with counsel, and this is what influenced the Award. It has offered no evidence to support such an argument, nothing,” he told the court.

Professor Sands added, “Venezuela offers no authority whatsoever for the proposition that the conduct of a party in arbitral proceedings can, of itself, taint an arbitral award. We are not aware of any case of an arbitral award being set aside merely because of the conduct of a party or of its counsel.”

Even if there is misconduct, Professor Sands said the Court’s role in the case is limited to the validity of the Arbitral Award which is the very subject matter of the dispute.

“A finding of misconduct by arbitrators may require factual findings in relation to acts attributable to the United Kingdom, but not any legal findings in relation to the responsibility of the United Kingdom,” he explained

With oral arguments on the preliminary objections filed by Venezuela completed, the Court will issue a judgement subsequently. That judgement is expected to detail whether the ICJ believes it should preside over the claims brought by Guyana.

The border case between Guyana and Venezuela arose after the latter contended that the Arbitral Award of 1899 was null and void.  The controversy is currently before the ICJ where Guyana is seeking a final judgement to uphold the 1899 Arbitral Award.

The ICJ on December 18, 2020, ruled it had jurisdiction to hear the case and rule upon the validity of the Arbitral Award and its legal consequence on both States. The ICJ then ordered that Guyana file its Memorial on the merits of its case against Venezuela.

Guyana filed its Memorial on March 8, 2022. Venezuela subsequently filed preliminary objections on June 7, 2022, to the admissibility of Guyana’s Application to the Court to determine the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award.

In accordance with its rules, the Court suspended the proceedings on the merits until the determination by the ICJ as it relates to Venezuela’s preliminary objections. Venezuela refused to participate in those legal proceedings. (Extracted from the Department of Public Information)

Demerara_Guy

Venezuela’s objections in border controversy case short on facts

Nov 25, 2022 News --- Source --- https://www.kaieteurnewsonline...case-short-on-facts/

– Greenidge urges ICJ to reject claims

Kaieteur News – Carl Greenidge , Guyana ‘s Co-Agent  and  Advisor on borders told the  International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Tuesday, that Venezuela’s preliminary objections to the case is long on rhetoric but short on facts.

Carl Greenidge, Guyana‘s Co-Agent and Advisor on borders.

The ICJ last week held public hearings on the preliminary objections raised by Venezuela in the case concerning the Arbitral Award of October 3, 1899 (Guyana v Venezuela). During the conclusion of the preliminary hearing at the Hague-based ICJ, Greenidge spoke of how Venezuela’s has absolutely failed to articulate proper grounds for its reason for asking the court to strike down Guyana’s case.

He said that one thing is abundantly clear, “Venezuela really does not want this court to determine the merits of Guyana’s claims. He said it was clear to the court throughout the hearing, Venezuela’s arguments in support of its preliminary objections, have been rather long on allegations and rhetoric and somewhat short on substance.”

“Why, one might ask, is that the case? Is it that Venezuela is concerned that a judgment in the case will, in its very essence, involve a determination of the rights of the UK? Or is it because Venezuela recognises that the legal and factual merits of Guyana’s claims are overwhelming and a hearing will yield only one possible outcome?” Greenidge questioned.

During his presentation, Greenidge noted that Venezuela is more interested in continuing to hold onto a falsehood, rather than a final and legal pronouncement on the truth. Further, during his presentation, Greenidge also reaffirmed that Guyana has no interest in negotiating a conclusion of the border controversy, but expects the legal one before the ICJ. Greenidge in his argument also took the opportunity to remind the court that it had earlier reached the conclusion that it has jurisdiction in hearing the case in respect of Guyana’s claim concerning the validity of the 1899 arbitral award and the related question of the definitive settlement of the land boundary dispute between Guyana and Venezuela.

He noted that in reaching that decision the court upheld another careful and independent decision, namely the decision of the Secretary General of the UN made in 2018, to entrust the World Court with the responsibility for resolving the controversy between Guyana and Venezuela, regarding the validity of the 1899 award and the settlement of the parties land boundary dispute.

Greenidge added that, “the court would be well aware this is a long standing issue which has stubbornly defied resolution for more than half a century. It has cast a long and menacing shadow over Guyana’s security and development throughout its existence as a sovereign state, a shadow rooted in Venezuela’s efforts to erase the long standing land boundary between our two countries and make claim to nearly three-quarters of Guyana’s land territory, the resolution of this dispute is therefore no less than existential for Guyana.”

As such, he said, “Guyana since its emergence as a Sovereign State in 1966 has been steadfast in its commitment to international law. Instead of proceeding to determine the merits of Guyana’s claim, Venezuela urges the court to decline to exercise jurisdiction.”

“By making that argument, Venezuela once again invites the court to condemn the parties to perpetual deadlock and the indefinite continuation of a controversy which has blighted their relations for the entirety of Guyana’s existence as a sovereign state,” Greenidge added.

(Rehanna Ramsay)

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