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#ICJ | Four No and Two Yes: International Court of Justice teaches basic International Law to UNSC

Later on, everybody is against Gaja and Bhandari


[By Florencia Fernandez]




On July 27th, the 7th session initiated with the Judges discussing the five other questions regarding the United Nations statement about children in armed conflicts. According to the magistrates, the questions were important yet simple to answer because most of them relied on basic principles on the UN Chapter and International Law.


In the statement the Judges declared “Considering the United Nation Security Council (UNSC) is a United Nations committee that seeks for peace, international cooperation, respect to sovereignty and to the principles of International Law, it should not get involved in the countries' national law” to the questions about capital punishment, maximum penalty and penalty range. The Statement was approved by consensus.


Later on the session, the discussion on the Nicarágua vs Costa Rica Case restarted. And in the same spirit of the first moment, the Judges go basic: "What is sovereignty?" was the main question in the session. All magistrates consensually recognized that Costa Rica broke the Treaty of Limits and International and National environmental and building Laws.




However, Judge Gaja and Judge Bhandari disagreed it was a sovereignty breach when Costa Rica blocks Nicaragua’s river with sediments. Gaja’s opinion was clear: “I believe that if Costa Rica acts on his own territory then it was not a sovereignty breach just an environmental crime”. Bhandari opinion was a little more cautious “I will search better [on sovereignty] and then positioning myself”. The other Judges spend the rest of the session trying to convince them otherwise. And the concepts of Navigation right, territory breach and sovereignty were unravelled so Your Honors could reach an exceptional sentence.


A discussion led to a coming back to the Nicarágua actions and a new crime was found: Just like Costa Rica, Nicaragua breach the Treaty. However, it is not something both countries accused witch other, so the Judges will not be sentencing about it. Leaving us with a question: What will be in the final sentence?

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