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Certain Questions concerning Diplomatic Relations (Honduras v. Brazil)

Overview of the case

On 28 October 2009, the Ambassador of Honduras to the Netherlands filed in the Registry of the Court an Application instituting proceedings against Brazil in respect of a

“dispute between [the two States] relat[ing] to legal questions concerning diplomatic relations and associated with the principle of non‑intervention in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State, a principle incorporated in the Charter of the United Nations”.

It was alleged therein that Brazil had “breached its obligations under Article 2 (7) of the Charter and those under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations”.

At the end of the Application the Court was requested

“to adjudge and declare that Brazil does not have the right to allow the premises of its Mission in Tegucigalpa to be used to promote manifestly illegal activities by Honduran citizens who have been staying within it for some time now and that it shall cease to do so”.

To found the Court’s jurisdiction, Honduras invoked Article XXXI of the American Treaty on Pacific Settlement, signed on 30 April 1948 and, under the terms of Article LX thereof, officially called the “Pact of Bogotá”, ratified without reservation by Honduras on 13 January 1950 and by Brazil on 9 November 1965.

An original copy of the Application was sent to the Government of Brazil on 28 October 2009. The Secretary-General of the United Nations was also informed about the filing of that Application.

By a letter dated 28 October 2009, received in the Registry on 30 October 2009 under the cover of a letter dated 29 October 2009 from Mr. Jorge Arturo Reina, Permanent Representative of Honduras to the United Nations, Ms Patricia Isabel Rodas Baca, Minister for External Relations in the Government headed by Mr. José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, informed the Court, inter alia, that the Ambassador of Honduras to the Netherlands was not the legitimate representative of Honduras before the Court and that “Ambassador Eduardo Enrique Reina is being appointed as the sole legitimate representative of the Government of Honduras to the International Court of Justice”. A copy of the communication, with annexes, from the Permanent Representative of Honduras to the United Nations was sent on 3 November 2009 to Brazil, as well as to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Court decided that, given the circumstances, no other action would be taken in the case until further notice.

By a letter dated 30 April 2010, received in the Registry on 3 May 2010, Mr. Mario Miguel Canahuati, Minister for External Relations of Honduras, informed the Court that the Honduran Government was “not going on with the proceedings initiated by the application” and that it “accordingly withdraws this application from the Registry”. Consequently, the President of the Court made an Order on 12 May 2010 in which, after noting that Brazil had not taken any step in the proceedings in the case, he recorded the discontinuance by Honduras of the proceedings and ordered that the case be removed from the List.

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

Institution of proceedings


Order of 12 May 2010

Removal from list
Procedure(s): Discontinuance
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Press releases

Press release 2009/30

29 October 2009
Filing in the Registry of the Court of an “Application instituting proceedings by the Republic of Honduras against the Federative Republic of Brazil”
Available in:
English French

Press release 2010/15

19 May 2010
Certain Questions concerning Diplomatic Relations (Honduras v. Brazil) - Case removed from the Court's List at the request of Honduras
Available in:
English French

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