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Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia)

Overview of the case

On 26 November 2013, Nicaragua filed an Application instituting proceedings against Colombia relating to a “dispute concern[ing] the violations of Nicaragua’s sovereign rights and maritime zones declared by the Court’s Judgment of 19 November 2012 [in the case concerning Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia)] and the threat of the use of force by Colombia in order to implement these violations”.

In its Application, Nicaragua requested the Court to adjudge and declare that Colombia was in breach of several of its international obligations, and that it was obliged to make full reparation for the harm caused by its internationally wrongful acts.

Nicaragua based the jurisdiction of the Court on Article XXXI of the Pact of Bogotá. It further contended, “[m]oreover and alternatively, [that] the jurisdiction of the Court [lay] in its inherent power to pronounce on the actions required by its Judgments”.

On 19 December 2014, Colombia raised preliminary objections to the jurisdiction of the Court. On 17 March 2016, the Court rendered its Judgment on the preliminary objections raised by Colombia. The Court found that it had jurisdiction, on the basis of Article XXXI of the Pact of Bogotá, to adjudicate upon the dispute regarding the alleged violations by Colombia of Nicaragua’s rights in the maritime zones which, according to Nicaragua, the Court declared in its Judgment of 19 November 2012 appertain to Nicaragua.

In its Counter-Memorial filed on 17 November 2016, Colombia submitted four counter-claims. The first was based on Nicaragua’s alleged breach of its duty of due diligence to protect and preserve the marine environment of the south‑western Caribbean Sea; the second related to Nicaragua’s alleged breach of its duty of due diligence to protect the right of the inhabitants of the San Andrés Archipelago to benefit from a healthy, sound and sustainable environment; the third concerned Nicaragua’s alleged infringement of the artisanal fishing rights of the inhabitants of the San Andrés Archipelago to access and exploit their traditional fishing grounds; the fourth related to Nicaragua’s adoption of Decree No. 33-2013 of 19 August 2013, which, according to Colombia, established straight baselines and had the effect of extending Nicaragua’s internal waters and maritime zones beyond what international law permits.

In an Order on the said counter‑claims handed down on 15 November 2017, the Court found that the first and second counter‑claims submitted by Colombia were inadmissible as such and did not form part of the ongoing proceedings, and that the third and fourth counter‑claims submitted by Colombia were admissible as such and did form part of the ongoing proceedings.

Public hearings on the merits of the case were held in a hybrid format from 20 September to 1 October 2021.

On 21 April 2022, the Court rendered its Judgment on the merits, in which it found that Colombia had violated Nicaragua’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the latter’s exclusive economic zone.


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

Institution of proceedings

Written proceedings

Written statement of Nicaragua to the preliminary objections of Colombia

20 April 2015
Procedure(s): Preliminary objections
Available in:
English French

Oral proceedings

Verbatim record 2015/22

Public sitting held on Monday 28 September 2015, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the case concerning Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia) - Preliminary Objections
Procedure(s): Preliminary objections
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2015/23

Public sitting held on Tuesday 29 September 2015, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the case concerning Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia) - Preliminary Objections
Procedure(s): Preliminary objections
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2015/24

Public sitting held on Wednesday 30 September 2015, at 4 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the case concerning Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia) - Preliminary Objections
Procedure(s): Preliminary objections
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2015/25

Public sitting held on Friday 2 October 2015, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the case concerning Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia) - Preliminary Objections
Procedure(s): Preliminary objections
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2021/13

Public sitting held on Monday 20 September 2021, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Donoghue presiding, in the case concerning Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia)
Available in:
Original Language

Verbatim record 2021/14

Public sitting held on Wednesday 22 September 2021, at 11 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Donoghue presiding, in the case concerning Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia)
Available in:
Original Language

Verbatim record 2021/15

Public sitting held on Wednesday 22 September 2021, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Donoghue presiding, in the case concerning Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia)
Available in:
Original Language

Verbatim record 2021/16

Public sitting held on Friday 24 September 2021, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Donoghue presiding, in the case concerning Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia)
Available in:
Original Language

Verbatim record 2021/17

Public sitting held on Monday 27 September 2021, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Donoghue presiding, in the case concerning Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia)
Available in:
Original Language

Verbatim record 2021/18

Public sitting held on Wednesday 29 September 2021, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Donoghue presiding, in the case concerning Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia)
Available in:
Original Language

Verbatim record 2021/19

Public sitting held on Friday 1 October 2021, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Donoghue presiding, in the case concerning Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia)
Available in:
Original Language

Other documents

Orders

Order of 3 February 2014

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

Order of 19 December 2014

Fixing of time-limit: written statement of observations and submissions on the preliminary objections
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 17 March 2016

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

Order of 4 December 2018

Fixing of time-limit: additional pleading relating to the counter-claims
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Judgments

Summaries of Judgments and Orders

Summary 2016/1

Summary of the Judgment of 17 March 2016
Available in:
English French

Summary 2017/3

Summary of the Order of 15 November 2017
Available in:
English French

Summary 2022/3

Summary of the Judgment of 21 April 2022
Available in:
English French

Press releases

Press release 2013/36

27 November 2013
Nicaragua institutes proceedings against Colombia with regard to alleged “violations of Nicaragua’s sovereign rights and maritime zones declared by the Court’s Judgment of 19 November 2012”
Available in:
English French

Press release 2014/4

4 February 2014
Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia) - Fixing of time-limits for the filing of the initial pleadings
Available in:
English French

Press release 2014/34

22 December 2014
Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia) - Fixing of time-limit for the filing by Nicaragua of a written statement of its observations and submissions on the preliminary objections raised by Colombia
Available in:
English French

Press release 2015/20

31 July 2015
Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia) - Preliminary Objections - The Court to hold public hearings from Monday 28 September to Friday 2 October 2015
Available in:
English French

Press release 2015/25

2 October 2015
Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia) - Conclusion of public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Republic of Colombia - Court to begin its deliberation
Available in:
English French

Press release 2016/4

7 March 2016
Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia) - The Court to deliver its Judgments on Preliminary Objections on Thursday 17 March
Available in:
English French

Press release 2016/8

17 March 2016
Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia) - The Court finds that it has jurisdiction, on the basis of Article XXXI of the Pact of Bogotá, to adjudicate upon the dispute regarding the alleged violations by Colombia of Nicaragua's rights in the maritime zones which, according to Nicaragua, the Court declared in its 2012 Judgment appertain to Nicaragua
Available in:
English French

Press release 2016/10

21 March 2016
Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia) - Fixing of time-limit for the filing of Colombia's Counter-Memorial
Available in:
English French

Press release 2017/35

20 November 2017
The Court finds that the third and fourth counter-claims submitted by Colombia are admissible and fixes time-limits for the filing of further written pleadings
Available in:
English French

Press release 2018/59

13 December 2018
Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia) - The Court authorizes the submission by the Republic of Nicaragua of an additional pleading relating solely to the counter-claims submitted by the Republic of Colombia
Available in:
English French

Press release 2021/18

29 July 2021
Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia) - Public hearings on the merits of the case to open on Monday 20 September 2021
Available in:
English French

Press release 2021/19

23 August 2021
Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia) - Schedule for the public hearings to be held from Monday 20 September to Friday 1 October 2021
Available in:
English French

Press release 2021/25

1 October 2021
Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea - (Nicaragua v. Colombia) - Conclusion of the public hearings The Court to begin its deliberation
Available in:
English French

Press release 2022/12

30 March 2022
Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia) - The Court to deliver its Judgment on Thursday 21 April 2022 at 10 a.m.
Available in:
English French

Press release 2022/14

21 April 2022
Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia) - The Court finds that Colombia has violated Nicaragua’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the latter’s exclusive economic zone
Available in:
English French

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