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Français

Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica)

Proceedings joined with Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) on 17 April 2013

Overview of the case

On 22 December 2011, Nicaragua filed an Application instituting proceedings against Costa Rica for “violations of Nicaraguan sovereignty and major environmental damages on its territory”. Nicaragua claimed that Costa Rica was carrying out extensive road construction works along most of the border area between the two countries, with grave environmental consequences.

By an Order of 17 April 2013, the Court, in conformity with the principle of the sound administration of justice and with the need for judicial economy, considered it appropriate to join the proceedings in this case with those in the case concerning Certain Activities Carried Out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua).

On 11 October 2013, Nicaragua filed a request for the indication of provisional measures, seeking to protect certain rights which, in its view, were being prejudiced by the road construction works carried out by Costa Rica, in particular the transboundary movement of sediment and other resultant debris. In its Order dated 13 December 2013, the Court found, however, that the circumstances, as they presented themselves to it, were not such as to require the exercise of its power to indicate provisional measures.

In its Judgment delivered on 16 December 2015, the Court found that the construction of the road by Costa Rica carried a risk of significant transboundary harm and, therefore, it found that Costa Rica had not complied with its obligation under general international law to carry out an environmental impact assessment (EIA). Since Costa Rica had not complied with its obligation to perform an EIA, however, the Court could not determine whether Costa Rica was required to notify, and consult with, Nicaragua. Turning to the reparation requested by Nicaragua, the Court concluded that a declaration of wrongful conduct in respect of Costa Rica’s violation of the obligation to conduct an EIA was the appropriate measure of satisfaction.


This overview is provided for information only and in no way involves the responsibility of the Court.

Institution of proceedings

Written proceedings

Request by Nicaragua for the Indication of Provisional Measures

11 October 2013
Procedure(s): Provisional measures
Available in:
English French

Oral proceedings

Verbatim record 2013/28

Public sitting held on Tuesday 5 November 2013, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Tomka presiding, in the cases concerning Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica); Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Procedure(s): Provisional measures
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2013/29

Public sitting held on Wednesday 6 November 2013, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Tomka presiding, in the cases concerning Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica); Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Procedure(s): Provisional measures
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2013/30

Public sitting held on Thursday 7 November 2013, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Tomka presiding, in the cases concerning Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica); Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Procedure(s): Provisional measures
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2013/31

Public sitting held on Friday 8 November 2013, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Tomka presiding, in the cases concerning Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica); Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Procedure(s): Provisional measures
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2015/8

Public sitting held on Monday 20 April 2015, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the cases concerning Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica); Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2015/9

Public sitting held on Monday 20 April 2015, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the cases concerning Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica); Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2015/10

Public sitting held on Tuesday 21 April 2015, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the cases concerning Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica); Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2015/11

Public sitting held on Thursday 23 April 2015, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the cases concerning Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica); Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2015/12

Public sitting held on Friday 24 April 2015, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the cases concerning Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica); Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2015/13

Public sitting held on Friday 24 April 2015, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the cases concerning Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica); Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2015/16

Public sitting held on Thursday 30 April 2015, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the cases concerning Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica); Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2015/17

Public sitting held on Friday 1 May 2015, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the cases concerning Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica); Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Orders

Order of 23 January 2012

Fixing of time-limits: Memorial and Counter-Memorial
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 13 December 2013

Request by Nicaragua for the Indication of Provisional Measures
Procedure(s): Provisional measures
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 3 February 2014

Fixing of time-limits: Reply and Rejoinder
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Judgments

Summaries of Judgments and Orders

Summary 2013/4

Summary of the Order of 13 December 2013
Available in:
English French

Summary 2015/3

Summary of the Judgment of 16 December 2015
Available in:
English French

Press releases

Press release 2011/40

22 December 2011
Nicaragua institutes proceedings against Costa Rica with regard to “violations of Nicaraguan sovereignty and major environmental damages to its territory”
Available in:
English French

Press release 2012/3

26 January 2012
Construction of a road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) - Fixing of time-limits for the filing of the initial pleadings
Available in:
English French

Press release 2013/10

23 April 2013
Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) - Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) - The Court joins the proceedings in the two cases
Available in:
English French

Press release 2013/12

1 May 2013
Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) - The Court rules on the counter-claims submitted by Nicaragua: it finds that the first claim is without object, that the second and third claims are inadmissible and that there is no need for it to entertain the fourth claim
Available in:
English French

Press release 2013/18

25 July 2013
Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) - Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) - The Court finds that the circumstances, as they now present themselves to the Court, are not such as to require the exercise of its power to modify the measures indicated in the Order of 8 March 2011 and reaffirms those measures
Available in:
English French

Press release 2013/27

15 October 2013
Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) - Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) - Nicaragua requests the Court to indicate provisional measures
Available in:
English French

Press release 2013/30

21 October 2013
Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) - Request for the indication of provisional measures filed by Nicaragua on 11 October 2013 - The Court to hold public hearings from Tuesday 5 to Friday 8 November 2013
Available in:
English French

Press release 2013/32

8 November 2013
Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) - Conclusion of the public hearings on the Request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by Nicaragua on 11 October 2013
Available in:
English French

Press release 2013/38

10 December 2013
Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) - Request for the indication of provisional measures filed by Nicaragua on 11 October 2013 - The Court to deliver its Order on Friday 13 December 2013 at 10 a.m.
Available in:
English French

Press release 2013/39

13 December 2013
Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) - The Court finds that the circumstances, as they now present themselves to the Court, are not such as to require the exercise of its power to indicate provisional measures
Available in:
English French

Press release 2014/5

6 February 2014
Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) - The Court authorizes the submission of a Reply by Nicaragua and a Rejoinder by Costa Rica and fixes time−limits for the filing of these pleadings
Available in:
English French

Press release 2015/7

16 February 2015
Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)   Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) - The Court to hold public hearings from Tuesday 14 April to Friday 1 May 2015
Available in:
English French

Press release 2015/9

30 March 2015
Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)   Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) - Changes to the schedule for the public hearings
Available in:
English French

Press release 2015/10

10 April 2015
Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)   Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) - Examination of experts during the public hearings
Available in:
English French

Press release 2015/11

1 May 2015
Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) - Conclusion of the public hearings − The Court to begin its deliberation
Available in:
English French

Press release 2015/30

4 December 2015
Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) - Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) - The Court to deliver its Judgment on Wednesday 16 December 2016 at 3 p.m.
Available in:
English French

Press release 2015/32

16 December 2015
Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica) - The Court finds that Costa Rica has violated its obligation to carry out an environmental impact assessment concerning the construction of Route 1856, but that it did not breach substantive environmental obligations
Available in:
English French