INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE
28 March 2018
Obligation to Negotiate Access to the Pacific Ocean (Bolivia v. Chile)
Conclusion of the public hearings
The Court to begin its deliberation
THE HAGUE, 28 March 2018. The public hearings in the case concerning the Obligation to Negotiate Access to the Pacific Ocean (Bolivia v. Chile) were concluded today. The Court will now begin its deliberation.
During the hearings, which opened on Monday 19 March 2018 at the Peace Palace, seat of the Court, the delegation of the Plurinational State of Bolivia was led by H.E. Mr. Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé, former President of Bolivia, former President of the Bolivian Supreme Court of Justice and former Dean of the Law School of the Catholic University of Bolivia in La Paz, as Agent. The delegation of the Republic of Chile was led by H.E. Mr. Claudio Grossman, member of the International Law Commission, R. Geraldson Professor of International Law and Dean Emeritus at American University Washington College of Law, as Agent.
Notably, also present during the hearings were H.E. Mr. Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, and H.E. Mr. Roberto Ampuero, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Chile, as leaders of their respective national authorities.
The Court’s judgment will be delivered at a public sitting, the date of which will be announced in due course.
Submissions of the Parties
At the end of the hearings, the Agents of the Parties presented the following submissions to the Court:
“In accordance with Article 60 of the Rules of the Court and the reasons set out during the written and oral phase of the pleadings in the case Obligation to Negotiate Access to the Pacific Ocean (Bolivia v. Chile), the Plurinational State of Bolivia respectfully requests the Court to adjudge and declare that:
(a) Chile has the obligation to negotiate with Bolivia in order to reach an agreement granting Bolivia a fully sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean;
(b) Chile has breached the said obligation; and
(c) Chile must perform the said obligation in good faith, promptly, formally, within a reasonable time and effectively, to grant Bolivia a fully sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean.”
“The Republic of Chile respectfully requests the Court to:
Dismiss all of the claims of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.”
Internal Judicial Practice of the Court with respect to deliberations
Deliberations take place in private in accordance with the following procedure.
The Court first holds a preliminary deliberation, during which the President outlines the issues which, in his opinion, require discussion and decision by the Court.
Each judge then prepares a written Note setting out his or her views; these Notes are exchanged among the judges.
A full deliberation is subsequently held, at the end of which a drafting committee is chosen by secret ballot, taking account of the views expressed.
That committee consists in principle of two judges holding the majority view of the Court, together with the President, unless it appears that his views are in the minority.
The committee prepares a preliminary draft text, which is the subject of written amendments. Two further drafts are produced in turn, each of which is subject to a detailed reading.
In the meantime, judges who wish to do so may prepare a declaration, a separate opinion or a dissenting opinion, which are communicated to the other judges.
The final vote is taken after adoption of the final text of the judgment at the second reading.