ICJ delivered a careful ruling on Guyana, Venezuela’s border case – Int’l lawyers
Kaieteur News – International lawyers who represented Guyana at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) last week have fired back at criticism from Dr. Bertrand Ramcharan, a Guyanese and former United Nations (UN) official, said the decision by the UN-backed World Court to entertain the border case was reckless.
In a missile published yesterday, attorneys Paul Reichler and Professor Philippe Sands, QC praised last week’s careful court ruling from the ICJ.
The lawyers said in response to a letter from Dr. Ramcharan, held in the Stabroek News that they do not understand “… How that method can be described as“ reckless ”is unclear, and may be cautious in reading it. Ramcharan comes to a clearer understanding of what he has actually said. “
In the piece, Dr. Ramcharan was very critical of the decision by the ICJ ruling that he had jurisdiction to hear the validity of the Arbitration Award on October 3, 1899 and the related question concerning the definitive settlement of the land border dispute between Guyana and Venezuela.
According to Ramcharan, on closer look, there are complex features of the decision that deserve serious scrutiny.
“With great respect,” he said, “the decision of the Court is reckless.”
The first issue is how the Court framed the issue that now has to be addressed in the final stage of the case, the Guyanese diplomat added.
In response to the criticism, the attorneys Reichler and Sands, QC, who were on the team that defended Guyana in the border case, noted their considerable surprise in the article written by Dr. Ramcharan.
“This is even more important,” the lawyers added, “after knowing Dr. Ramcharan for many years. He has expertise and experience in many areas, but the practice of the International Court of Justice is not one of them, to our knowledge. ”
The attorneys explained that the Court faced a new situation, where its jurisdiction was based on the decision of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Reichler and Sands noted that the Court ruled, by a large majority, that “it had jurisdiction to entertain the application filed by the Cooperative Republic of Guyana on March 29, 2018, insofar as it related to the validity of the Arbitration Award on October 3, 1899 and the related question concerning the definitive settlement of the land border dispute between the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Bolivian Republic of Venezuela. ”
They said the ruling followed the Court’s careful and considered approach, as reflected in its practice.
“The Court has not expressed any views on whether or not there is a dispute over a land border between Guyana and Venezuela. Instead, it has decided to exercise jurisdiction over the question of whether such a dispute has been the subject of a “definitive settlement,” a question that turns on the validity of the 1899 Arbitration Award, “the lawyers added in the statement.
As such, the attorneys emphasized that, given the careful judgment, “exactly how that approach can be described as” reckless “is unclear, and Dr. Ramcharan, by careful re-reading, comes to a clearer understanding of what he has actually said. ”
Further, the lawyers emphasized that, having between themselves practiced before the Court for more than six decades, in their view, the ruling appeared to be reasonable in its approach, and one which is entirely favorable to Guyana.
The attorneys said it was an honor to represent Guyana to debate the jurisdictional issues on his behalf under the leadership of Carl Greenidge and Sir Shridath Ramphal, along with a team of distinguished international lawyers.
As a result, they considered the Court’s decision of December 18, 2020, to be a historic victory for Guyana.
“It gives Guyana exactly what it has been seeking since independence in 1966, the opportunity to obtain a final and binding ruling from the world’s highest court on the validity of the 1899 Arbitration Award, and the border that was fixed in accordance with it. with it, and affirm Guyana’s unique and undisputed sovereignty over the entire Essequibo Region, ”the two attorneys said in the statement.