jueves, abril 25, 2013


Peace Palace, Carnegieplein 2, 2517 KJ The Hague, Netherlands
Tel.:+31 (0)70302 2323 Fax: +31 (0)70 364 9928
Website: www.icj-cij.org
Press Release
24 April 2013

Bolivia institutes  proceedings against Chile with regard to a dispute concerning the obligation of Chile to negotiate the “sovereign access of Bolivia  to the Pacific Ocean”

THE HAGUE, 24 April 2013.  Today, the  Plurinational State of  Bolivia instituted  proceedings against the Republic of  Chile before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, 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 sovere  ign access to the Pacific Ocean”.

The Application contains a summary of the facts —starting from the independence of  Bolivia in 1825 and continuing until the present day —which, according to Bolivia, are “the main relevant facts on which this claim is based”, and which must be provided in any Application under  Article 38, paragraph 2, of the Rules of Court.

In its Application, Bolivia states that the subject of the dispute lies in “(a) the existence of
that obligation, (b) the non -compliance of 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 the basis for the jurisdiction  of the Court, the Applicant invokes Article XXXI of the
American Treaty on Pacific Settlement (Pact of Bogotá) of 30  April 1948, to which both States are  parties.  This Article provides that:  “In conformity with Article 36, paragraph  2, of the Statute of  the International Court of Justice, the High Contracting Parties declare that they recognize, in  relation to any other American State, the jurisdiction of the Court as compulsory ipso facto , without  the necessity of any special agreement so long as the pre sent Treaty is in force, in all disputes of a  judicial nature that arise among them concerning:

(a)    the  interpretation of a treaty;
(b)any  question of international law;
(c) the existence of any fact which, if established, would constitute the breach of an international  obligation;

(d)   the  nature or extent of the reparation to be made for the breach of an international obligation.”

At the end of its Application, Bolivia “reserves [its] right to request that an arbitral tribunal
be established in accorda  nce with the obligation under Article XII of the Treaty of Peace and
Friendship concluded with Chile on 20 October  1904 and the Protocol of 16  April 1907, in the case  of any claims arising out of the said Treaty ”
The full text of the Appli
cation will be available shortly on the Court’s website
(www.icj- cij.org)

The International Court of Justice  (ICJ)  is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It was established by the United Nations Charter in June  1945 and b egan its activities in April  1946. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York. The Court has a  twofold role: first, to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by  States (its judgments have binding force and are without appeal for the parties concerned); and,  second, to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized United  Nations organs and agencies of the system. The Court is composed of 15 judges elected for a nine - year term by the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations.  Independent of the United Nations Secretariat, it is assisted by a Registry, its own international  secretariat, whose activities are both judicial and diplomatic, as well as administrative. The official  languages of the Court are French and English. Also known as the “World Court”, it is the only  court of a universal character with general jurisdiction.

The ICJ, a court open only to States for contentious proceedings, and to certain organs and institutions of the United Nations system for advisory proceedings, should not be confused with the  other mostly criminal  judicial institutions based in The Hague and adjacent areas, such as the  International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY, an  ad hoc court created by the  Security Council), the International Criminal Court (ICC, the first permanent international criminal court, established by treaty, which does not belong to the United Nations system), the Special  Tribunal for Lebanon (STL, an independent judicial body composed of Lebanese and international judges, which is not a United Nations tribunal and  does not form part of the Lebanese judicial system), or the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA, an independent institution which assists in  the establishment of arbitral tribunals and facilitates their work, in accordance with the Hague  Convention of 1899 ).
Information Department:
Mr. Andrey Poskakukhin, First Secretary of the Court, Head  of  Department (+31 (0)70 302  336)
Mr. Boris Heim, Information Officer (+31 (0)70 302 2337)  Ms Joanne Moore, Associate Information Officer (+31 (0)70 302 2394)  Ms Genoveva Madurga, Administrative Assistant (+31 (0)70 302 2396)

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