#ICJ | Division and Uncertainty: Judges do not know what to do
[By Florencia Fernandez]
On 27th July, the 9º session started with Judges dividing themselves to write their sentence: Judge Bhandari and Judge Trindade were writing about Nicaragua’s breach of sovereignty and Judges Ahmed and Abraham about Costa Rica’s. While that Judges Sebutinde, Crawford and Gaja were writing about the environmental harm.
But then, Judge Sebutinde accused the Court of not actually fully discussed the harm on the ecosystem. That caused a heated tension because Judge Ahmed and Abraham only wanted to write the sentence already.
On that heated tension, the debate was stopped and got fuzzy. Judge Gaja even stated: “I do not have baggage to judge on this matter [environmental]”. That shows a lack of study on the topic and concerned all on what will be in the sentence.
The session ended with the judges agreeing on doing their job on studying about the environmental dying.
On the Press Conference, Judge Gaja explained his vision of sovereignty breach “Costa Rica was constructing in his own territory and it was not affecting directly Nicaragua’s territory” however he also added his opinion was changed by the others judges.
Later on, Judge Bhandari clarified his tension with Judge Sebutinde when Your Honour felt forced to talk. “I was not just ‘gonna’ based my thoughts simple in the situation of the argument of the judges, I had to seek for more information”. Then, conclude saying he understood Sebutinde speech and they both apologized to each other.
In another question, Judge Gaja cleared upon a statement in which Your Honour let a doubt on how vigorous was the ICJ sentences. “It is [sentence] obligatory, we say they should make an agreement, but if they do not do it we can do actually nothing about it if they do not [ask] to reopen the case”.