Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Certain Activities Carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)/Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along The San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) (I.C.J.)

  • Cameron A. Miles (a1) (a2)

Extract

December 16, 2015, saw the International Court of Justice (ICJ or the Court) render final judgment in the joined cases of Certain Activities Carried Out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) (Border Area) and Construction of a Road in Costa Rica Along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) (Road). Together, these cases represented an opportunity for the Court to advance and clarify its thinking on the role of environmental impact assessments (EIA) in general international law, as first introduced in its decision in Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina v. Uruguay) (Pulp Mills), with both Costa Rica (in Border Area) and Nicaragua (in Road) alleging that the other had failed to carry out an EIA with respect to certain, potentially environmentally harmful, activities. They also raised some interesting questions regarding remedies for the breach of provisional measures awarded under Article 41 of the ICJ Statute.

Copyright

References

Hide All

Endnotes

* This text was reproduced and reformatted from the text available at the International Court of Justice website (visited May 15, 2016), http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/152/18848.pdf.

1 Certain Activities Carried Out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicar.)-Construction of a Road in Costa Rica Along the San Juan River (Nicar. v. Costa Rica), Judgment, (Dec. 16, 2015), available at http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/150/18848.pdf [hereinafter Judgment].

2 Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Arg. v. Uru.) 2010 I.C.J. 14, 82–83, ¶ 204 (Apr. 20).

3 Treaty of Limits between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, July 15, 1858, 118 C.T.S. 439 [hereinafter 1858 Treaty].

4 See generally Judgment, supra note 1, ¶¶ 56–58. See further Sketch Map No. 1. Id. at 31.

5 Notwithstanding the differing terminology, the Court habitually referred to this area in the judgment as Isla Portillos. See, e.g. , id. ¶ 63. This Introductory Note will follow the Court’s convention, without prejudice to the arguments put forward by each party.

6 See generally id. ¶¶ 59-62.

7 Id. ¶¶ 63-64.

8 American Treaty on Pacific Settlement, Apr. 30, 1948, 30 U.N.T.S. 55.

9 See Judgment, supra note 1, at 34 (Sketch Map No. 2).

10 Id. ¶¶ 65-92.

11 Id. ¶ 93.

12 Charter of the Organization of American States, Apr. 30, 1948, 119 U.N.T.S. 3 (as amended).

13 Judgment, supra note 1,¶¶ 97, 99.

14 Id. ¶ 105.

15 Id. ¶¶ 108-11.

16 Id. ¶¶ 119-20.

17 Id. ¶ 127.

18 Certain Activities Carried Out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicar.), Provisional Measures, 2011 I.C.J. 6, 27, ¶ 86(1) (Mar. 8), http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/150/16324.pdf.

19 Id. ¶ 136.

20 Id. ¶¶ 137-42.

21 Nicaragua’s breach of the Order of March 8, 2011, led Costa Rica to seek new provisional measures, culminating in the Court’s Order of November 22, 2013. See Certain Activities Carried Out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicar.)-Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicar. v. Costa Rica), Provisional Measures, 2013 I.C.J. 354 (Nov. 22), http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/150/17772.pdf.

22 Judgment, supra note 1, 144.

23 Id. (Joint Declaration of Judges Tomka, Greenwood, Sebutinde, and Judge ad hoc Dugard).

24 Id. ¶ 154.

25 Id. ¶¶ 153-56.

26 Id. ¶¶ 157-59.

27 Convention on Biological Diversity, June 5, 1992, 1760 U.N.T.S. 79.

28 Judgment, supra note 1, ¶¶ 165-73.

29 Id. ¶¶ 192-96.

30 Id. ¶¶ 197-213.

31 Id. ¶¶ 214–16.

32 Id. ¶¶ 218–20

33 Id. ¶¶ 221–23.

34 Id. ¶¶ 224–28.

35 See generally Diane Desierto, Evidence but not Empiricism? Environmental Impact Assessments at the International Court of Justice in Certain Activities Carried Out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and Construction of a Road in Costa Rica Along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) , EJIL TALK! (Feb. 26, 2016), http://www.ejiltalk.org/evidence-but-not-empiricism-environmental-impact-assessments-at-the-international-court-of-justice-in-certain-activities-carried-out-by-nicaragua-in-the-border-area-costa-rica-v-nicaragua-and-con/.

36 Judgment, supra note 1, ¶ 104.

37 LaGrand (Ger. v. U.S.) 2001 I.C.J. 466 (June 27).

38 See generally Cameron Miles, Catch-22 in the Borderlands: Costa Rica v. Nicaragua and the Binding Nature of Provisional Measures , CJICL BLOG (Nov. 9, 2013), http://cjicl.org.uk/2013/11/09/catch-22-borderlands-costa-rica-v-nicaragua-binding-nature-provisional-measures/.

39 See, e.g. , Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosn. & Herz. v. Serb. & Montenegro) 2007 I.C.J. 43, 230 –37, ¶¶ 451–70 (Feb. 26).

40 Judgment, supra note 1, ¶ 97.

* He is also an Associate Fellow of the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law based at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Certain Activities Carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)/Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along The San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) (I.C.J.)

  • Cameron A. Miles (a1) (a2)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed