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#ICJ | Laughs and light mood: Judges have fun but forget their own Power

[By Florencia Fernandez]

The 8th session of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) started in a good mood. The Judges consider the case all discussed after they convinced Gaja and Bhandari and voted Costa Rica guilty of breaching the Nicaragua’s sovereignty while constructing the Highway of San Juan River.

Thereupon, Your Honors turned to the environmental breach Costa Rica caused to Nicaragua. Leaving us wondering: "Is this a less important matter? Or an easy one?". An entire ecosystem is slowly being erased. However, Judges do not consider it a big problem.

And with that, a comeback happened. The Judges decided to take back their decision on monetary compensation which both countries should pay each other and go by the option provided by Judge Gaja, deliberating that both countries resolve a bilateral Agreement on compensation. On his speech, Judge Gaja said that telling them to solve on their own “is their problem now and if they decide not to solve, we reopen the case”.

Furthermore, a time of 4 years for the Agreement to happen was established and if the countries do not figure themselves out, the Court will take their case again. But that makes absolutely no sense. All Judges agreed on it despite the fact that the International Court of Justice decision is, and I quote: “Obligatory between the parts and, in case of non-compliance on the decision, the interested State can appeal to the United Nations Security Council to give effectiveness to it” (ART. 94 OF CONU). The judges themselves are not clear on their own capability?

Then, with the remaining time, the Judges sticked to writing all their topics on the final sentence.

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