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YYYY.MM.DD.

EVENT

   

1907.11.14

opening of the peace conference in Washington D.C. between Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Salvador on the proposition of Mexico and USA. Adjourned to 1907.12.20.

   
1907.12.20

conventions signed re: general peace and amity, the creation of a Central American Court of Justice, uniform extradition laws, annual conferences for uniformity in monetary systems, tariffs, weights and measures, development of communication and transportation, establishment of a Central American Pedagogic Institute in Costa Rica and International Central American Bureau. 

General treaty of peace provided that states were bound to "observe the most complete harmony, and decide every difference or difficulty that may arise amongst them, of whatsoever nature it may be, by means of the Central American Court of Justice, created by the Convention which they have concluded for that purpose on this date." The Convention should have stayed effective for 10 years starting from the moment of the last ratification. It would  be in force after the expiry of the 10-year period unless states would terminated it by means of submitting a notice of termination. All communications had to be held through the government of Costa Rica. The Convention was ratified by Nicaragua, February 15, 1908; Costa Rica, February 28, 1908; El Salvador and Honduras, March 4, 1908; and Guatemala, March 12, 1908.

Original members of the court were appointed as following: Costa Rica, Hon. José Astùa Aguilar; Guatemala, Hon. Angel M. Bocanegra; Salvador, Hon. Salvador Gallegos; Honduras, Hon. Alberto A. Ucles; and Nicaragua, Hon. José Madriz. Hon. José Astùa Aguilar has been chosen president of the court, and Hon. Angel M. Bocanegra vice-president.

   
1908.05.25

inauguration of the Central American Court of Justice at Cartago (Costa Rica). Andrew Carnegie has offered $100K for the purpose of erecting at Cartago a temple of peace for the exclusive use of the Central American Court of Justice.

   
1908.12.08

judgment for the defendants in the case of Honduras vs. Guatemala & Salvador in respect of the unneutral conduct ordering preservation of status quo.

   
1909.03.06

Fornos Diaz v. Guatemala dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. 

   
1911.01.10

Convention signed at Guatemala City, by Costa Rica, Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, amending the Convention of Washington of 1907, and transferring the seat of the court to San Jose, but authorizing the court to be held elsewhere when expedient. (see El Noiticero in respect of Andrew Carnegie's proposition to give $100K for the construction of a court building to replace the one destroyed at Cartago by earthquake.)

   
1916.03.nn

Costa Rica brought a claim against Nicaragua, claiming that the Bryan-Chamorro treaty was repugnant to the Cañas-Jerez treaty of 1858 and the Cleveland award, and that the lease was in violation of Article 9 of the general treaty of 1907 between the five Central American states.

   
1916.05.06

CACJ assumed jurisdiction in the case Costa Rica v. Nicaragua in respect of the infringement of Costa Rican rights in the negotiations of Nicaragua with the United States relative to the proposed canal treaty (see Washington Star, May 6, 1916).

   
1916.09.nn

Judgment for the plaintiff in the case of Costa Rica v. Nicaragua, holding that the rights of Costa Rica under the treaties had been infringed. Yet, CACJ held that it is unable to declare the Bryan-Chamorro treaty null and void. Nicaraguan members of the Court refused to participate and the Nicaraguan Government rejected the Court's jurisdiction.

   
1917.03.09

Judgment for the plaintiff in the case of Salvador vs. Nicaragua in respect of the latter's right to lease territory for the naval base in the Gulf of Fonseca (see Anales de la corte de Jucticia Centroamericanada, 6:96.). Nicaraguan members of the Court refused to participate and the Nicaraguan Government rejected the Court's jurisdiction.

   
1917.03.nn

Nicaragua gave a notice of termination. The Court was nevertheless functioning until April 1918, while parties were trying to save it from dissolution. 

Main reasons of failure were lack of independence of judges, too broad jurisdiction and absence of a satisfactory procedure. In addition to the role of a judicial institution the Court have also tried to play a role of a political mediation institution and as a result became involved in politics. For the period of its functioning the Court heard 10 cases, 5 of which were brought by private individuals and declared inadmissible, 3 of which were started by the Court’s own initiative.

   
1921.08.20

meeting held by the presidents of Honduras, San Salvador and Nicaragua and signed agreement confirming the validity of the treaty signed in Washington in 1907. Costa Rica and Guatemala confirmed the same.

   
1922.10.21

upon request of Honduras, San Salvador and Nicaragua (concurred by Costa Rica and Guatemala), US Secretary of State extended invitation to 5 states to meet in Washington on December 4, 1922.

   
1922.12.04

the conference was open in Washington and was chaired by US Secretary of State Hughes.

   
1923.02.07

participants of the conference agreed to the 12 treaties/conventions and 3 protocols. Among these documents was a Convention for the Establishment of an International Central American Tribunal, which replaced the Convention of 1907.

   
 

Source: The American Journal of International Law: 1) Chronical of International Events; 2) Clearing the Way for the Nicaragua Canal by J.S. Reeves (Vol. 17, No. 2 (Apr. 1923) 309-313); 3) The Central American Conference by George A. Finch (Vol. 17, No. 2 (Apr., 1923), 313-326);  Editorial Comments (Vol. 2, 835, 1908).

   
         
   
   
         
   

   
         
   

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