3 March 1999

 

General List No. 94

 
     

international Court of Justice

     
 

Land and Maritime Boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria

 
     

Cameroon

 

v. 

Nigeria

     
     
 

Order

 
     
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BEFORE: President: Schwebel
   
PermaLink: http://www.worldcourts.com/icj/eng/decisions/1999.03.03_boundary.htm
   
Citation: Land and Maritime Boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria (Cameroon v. Nig.), 1999 I.C.J. 24 (Order of Mar. 3)
 
     
 
 
     
 

[p.24]
The International Court of Justice,

Composed as above,

After deliberation,

Having regard to Article 48 of the Statute of the Court and to Article 44, paragraph 3, of the Rules of Court,

Having regard to the Judgment dated 11 June 1998, whereby the Court, ruling on the preliminary objections submitted by the Government of Nigeria, found that, on the basis of Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Statute, it has jurisdiction to adjudicate upon the dispute and that the Application filed by Cameroon on 29 March 1994, as amended by the Additional Application of 6 June 1994, is admissible,

Having regard to the Order dated 30 June 1998, whereby the Court fixed 31 March 1999 as the time-limit for the filing of the Counter-Memorial of Nigeria; [p 25]

Whereas, by a letter dated 23 February 1999, the Agent of Nigeria, referring to the Request for Interpretation of the Judgment of the Court of 11 June 1998 submitted by his Government on 28 October 1998, stated that:

"Nigeria [would] not be in a position to complete its Counter-Memorial until it [knew] the outcome of its Request for Interpretation as it [did] not at present know the scope of the case it [had] to answer on State Responsibility";

and whereas he accordingly concluded that:

"In these circumstances Nigeria has no choice but to ask Cameroon to consent to an extension of time for delivery of its Counter-Memorial sufficient to enable Nigeria to complete the preparation of its Counter-Memorial once judgment in the Request for Interpretation has been given.

Until the terms of the judgment are known Nigeria finds it difficult to predict the length of extension of time it will require in order to complete its Counter-Memorial. In the first instance therefore Nigeria requests an extension of two months from 31 March, 1999 for delivery of its Counter-Memorial but reserves its position regarding the making of a further request for an extension, depending on the timing and outcome of the Court's judgment in the Request for Interpretation";

and whereas, on receipt of this letter, the Deputy-Registrar, in accordance with Article 44, paragraph 3, of the Rules of Court, transmitted a copy thereof to the Agent of Cameroon;

Whereas, by a letter dated 24 February 1999, the Agent of Cameroon stated the following:

"In making [its Request for Interpretation of the Court's Judgment of 11 June 1998], Nigeria introduced a new case, which accordingly cannot have any procedural consequences for the examination of the Application submitted by Cameroon now almost five years ago";

whereas he added that the Court,

"if it were to accede to Nigeria's request, . . . would create a precedent which in future would encourage parties, whenever they wished to avoid or delay the Court's decision in a case, to make requests for interpretation or revision of judgments on preliminary objections";

whereas he recalled that Cameroon "[had] had occasion to point out several times in the past that its dispute with Nigeria call[ed] for a rapid decision"; and whereas he concluded his letter by stating that his Government "[was] resolutely opposed to the granting of Nigeria's request"; [p 26]

Whereas a request for interpretation submitted pursuant to Article 60 of the Statute of the Court and to Article 98 of its Rules constitutes a new case; whereas such a request cannot in itself suffice to justify the extension of a time-limit;

Whereas, however, given the circumstances of the case, the Court considers that it should grant Nigeria an extension of the time-limit for the filing of its Counter-Memorial;

Extends to 31 May 1999 the time-limit for the filing of the Counter-Memorial of Nigeria;

Reserves the subsequent procedure for further decision.

Done in French and in English, the French text being authoritative, at the Peace Palace, The Hague, this third day of March, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine, in three copies, one of which will be placed in the archives of the Court and the others transmitted to the Government of the Republic of Cameroon and the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, respectively.

(Signed) Stephen M. Schwebel,
President.

(Signed) Eduardo Valencia-Ospina,
Registrar.

 
     

 

 

 

 

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