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The International Court of Justice Judgment in the Benin–Niger Border Dispute: The Interplay of Titles and ‘Effectivités’ under the Uti Possidetis Juris Principle

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 January 2006


The chamber of the ICJ entrusted with solving the Benin–Niger dispute based its judgment on the colonial heritage left to the two countries at the time of their independence, as prescribed by the uti possidetis juris principle. The dispute actually stemmed from that heritage: the chamber's role was to interpret and clarify it. But while the uti possidetis juris principle underlines border stability, features such as river boundaries, because of their intrinsic movable nature, can put this stability under intense strain. The judgment lends itself to further reflections on this dichotomy, since the disputed areas revolved around two rivers.

HAGUE INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNALS: International Court of Justice
2005 Foundation of the Leiden Journal of International Law

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