Nicaragua v. Colombia: Preliminary Objections Judgment 13 Dec 2007
The ICJ has delivered its Judgment on the Preliminary Objections raised by Colombia in the case concerning Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia).

International Court of Justice (ICJ)On 13 December 2007, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its Judgment on the Preliminary Objections raised by Colombia in the case concerning Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia).

The Court found that it does not have jurisdiction over the matter of sovereignty over the islands of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina. By a majority of 13 to four, the judges found that the 1928 Treaty between Colombia and Nicaragua settled the matter and that there is no extant legal dispute between the Parties with respect to that question. The Court noted that Nicaragua had not contested the treaty’s validity for more than 50 years after it was signed. Accordingly, sovereignty over the three Caribbean islands remains with Colombia.

See the map from the Judgment

However, the Court found that it does have jurisdiction to adjudicate upon the dispute concerning sovereignty over the other maritime features claimed by the Parties and upon the dispute concerning the maritime delimitation between them.

Nicaragua had introduced proceedings against Colombia in December 2001 with regard to “legal issues subsisting” between the two States “concerning title to territory and maritime delimitation” in the western Caribbean. Nicaragua requested the Court to adjudge and declare first, that Nicaragua has sovereignty over the islands of Providencia, San Andrés and Catalina and all the appurtenant islands and keys. Secondly, the Court was further asked to determine the course of the single maritime boundary between the areas of continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, in the light of the determinations concerning the islands and keys.

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