162 – Dispute over the Status and Use of the Waters Silala (Chile vs Bolivia)

On June 6th, 2016, the Republic of Chile filed before the International Court of Justice (the ICJ) an application instituting proceedings against the Plurinational State of Bolivia concerning the status and use of the waters of the Silala (also known as Solili) by the two States.

Chile contends that the waters of the Silala are a watercourse of an international dimension, taking its origins in Bolivia before crossing the Chilean border. Therefore, both States would have the right to freely use these waters. It asserts that this position was implicitly accepted by Bolivia, as shown in certain geographical and topographical treaties dating from the early twentieth century before Bolivia changed its mind in 1999. According to the assertions contained in the application initiating the proceedings, the Chilean authorities claim to have made several attempts to settle definitively this issue of the status and use of the waters through diplomatic channels without reaching an agreement with Bolivia and Chile felt they had no other choice than to initiate proceedings before the ICJ.

The public hearings were opened on April 1st, 2022.

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.