International Court of Justice, June 30, 1995.
Portugal submitted an Application instituting proceedings against the Commonwealth of Australia before the International Court of Justice on February 22, 1991. Both Portugal and Australia had made declarations accepting the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court pursuant to Article 36, paragraph 2 of the ICJ Statute. Portugal sought a declaration from the Court that Portugal's status with respect to East Timor and the rights of the people of East Timor to self-determination, territorial integrity and unity, and permanent sovereignty over its wealth and natural resources were opposable to Australia. Portugal also sought a declaration that Australia had incurred international responsibility and had caused damage for which it owed reparation to both the people of East Timor and Portugal. Portugal alleged that Australia had incurred this responsibility mainly by negotiating and concluding—not with Portugal, but with Indonesia—a treaty on December 11, 1989, creating a “Zone of Cooperation” in an area of the undelimited continental shelf between East Timor and northern Australia known as the “Timor Gap.”