Site search
Document search

The Court

Members of the Court
Chambers and Committees
Judges ad hoc
How the Court Works
Financial Assistance to Parties
Annual Reports

The Registry

Organizational Chart of the Registry
Texts governing the Registry
Library of the Court
Judicial Fellowship Programme


List of All Cases
Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders

Basic Documents

Charter of the United Nations
Statute of the Court
Rules of Court
Practice Directions
Other Texts


Contentious Jurisdiction
Advisory Jurisdiction

Press Room

Press releases
Media Services
Frequently Asked Questions

Practical Information

Official holidays
Basic Toolkit
Frequently Asked Questions



Permanent Court of International Justice

Series A: Collection of Judgments (1923-1930)
Series B: Collection of Advisory Opinions (1923-1930)
Series A/B: Collection of Judgments, Orders and Advisory Opinions (from 1931)
Series C: Acts and documents relating to Judgments and Advisory Opinions given by the Court / Pleadings, Oral Arguments and Documents
Series D: Acts and Documents concerning the organization of the Court
Series E: Annual Reports
Series F: General Indexes
Other documents


Aerial Herbicide Spraying (Ecuador v. Colombia)

Overview of the case

On 31 March 2008, Ecuador filed an Application instituting proceedings against Colombia in respect of a dispute concerning the alleged “aerial spraying [by Colombia] of toxic herbicides at locations near, at and across its border with Ecuador”. Ecuador maintained that “the spraying has already caused serious damage to people, to crops, to animals, and to the natural environment on the Ecuadorian side of the frontier, and poses a grave risk of further damage over time”. It further contended that it had made “repeated and sustained efforts to negotiate an end to the fumigations” but that “these negotiations have proved unsuccessful”. As basis for the Court’s jurisdiction, Ecuador invoked Article XXXI of the Pact of Bogotá of 30 April 1948, to which both States were parties. Ecuador also relied on Article 32 of the 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

By a letter dated 12 September 2013, the Agent of Ecuador, referring to Article 89 of the Rules of Court and to an Agreement between the Parties dated 9 September 2013 “that fully and finally resolves all of Ecuador’s claims against Colombia” in the case, notified the Court that his Government wished to discontinue the proceedings in the case. By a letter of the same date, the Agent of Colombia informed the Court, pursuant to Article 89, paragraph 2, of the Rules of Court, that it made no objection to the discontinuance of the case as requested by Ecuador.

According to the letters received from the Parties, the Agreement of 9 September 2013 established, inter alia, an exclusion zone, in which Colombia would not conduct aerial spraying operations, created a Joint Commission to ensure that spraying operations outside that zone had not caused herbicides to drift into Ecuador and, so long as they had not, provided a mechanism for the gradual reduction in the width of the said zone; according to the letters, the Agreement set out operational parameters for Colombia’s spraying programme, recorded the agreement of the two Governments to ongoing exchanges of information in that regard, and established a dispute settlement mechanism.

In consequence, the President of the Court, on 13 September 2013, made an Order recording the discontinuance by Ecuador of the proceedings and directing the removal of the case from the Court’s List.

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

Institution of proceedings

Written proceedings


Order of 30 May 2008

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

Order of 25 June 2010

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

Order of 19 October 2011

Extension of a time-limit: Rejoinder
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Press releases

Press release 2008/5

1 April 2008
Ecuador institutes proceedings against Colombia with regard to a dispute concerning the alleged aerial spraying by Colombia of toxic herbicides over Ecuadorian territory
Available in:
English French

Press release 2008/13

2 June 2008
Aerial Herbicide Spraying (Ecuador v. Colombia) - Fixing of time-limits for the filing of the initial written pleadings
Available in:
English French

Press release 2010/20

2 July 2010
Aerial Herbicide Spraying (Ecuador v. Colombia) - The Court authorizes the submission of a Reply by Ecuador and a Rejoinder by Colombia and fixes time-limits for the filing of these pleadings
Available in:
English French

Press release 2011/31

21 October 2011
Aerial Herbicide Spraying (Ecuador v. Colombia) - Extension of the time-limit for the filing of Colombia's Rejoinder
Available in:
English French

Press release 2013/20

17 September 2013
Aerial Herbicide Spraying (Ecuador v. Colombia) - Case removed from the Court’s List at the request of the Republic of Ecuador
Available in:
English French

© International Court of Justice 2017-2021 – All rights reserved.