120-Maritime and Territorial Dispute Honduras and Nicaragua in the Caribbean Sea (Honduras vs Nicaragua)
On December 8th, 1999, Nicaragua filed an Application instituting proceedings against Honduras before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), regarding the delimitation of maritime zones of each State.
In its judgment of October 8th, 2007, the Court ruled on:
- The sovereignty over the islands of Bobel Cay, Savanna Cay, Port Royal Cay and South Cay: the ICJ first sought a conventional title under the doctrine of uti possidetis juris benefiting either of the two parties. This step having proved unsuccessful, the Court tried to find territorial effectivités. After examination, it attributed the sovereignty of the Court to Honduras because it was able to effectively demonstrate that it had enforced its rules regarding Civil Law, Criminal Law or Immigration rules on the aforementioned islands.
- The delimitation of maritime zones: the ICJ noted that there was no established boundary along the 15th parallel on the basis of either uti possidetis juris or a tacit agreement between the Parties. Therefore, it decide to determine the delimitation itself, leaving it to the parties to negotiate in good faith the conversion of the course of a line between the present endpoint of the land boundary and the starting-point of the maritime boundary thus determined.
This summary is provided for informational purposes only, does not involve the responsibility of Dome and should in no way be used as a substitute for a careful reading of the judgment and order of the case.