International Court of Justice

Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)

In: The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
Author: Guillaume Guez1
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  • 1 PhD student, University of GenevaSwitzerlandPantheon-Sorbonne UniversityFrance
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In its judgment of 2 February 2018 in the joined cases between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, the International Court of Justice held that Harbor Head Lagoon and the sandbar separating it from the Caribbean Sea belonged to Nicaragua, thereby creating an enclave on the Costa Rican coast. Despite this finding, the Court decided to disregard it when establishing the maritime delimitation. This article aims at showing that such a solution is incompatible with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as well as examining the options left to the Court to remedy the impracticality of the situation in accordance with the applicable law.

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