ICJ will open hearings on jurisdiction for Guyana-Venezuela border case on June 30

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Public hearings on the question of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) jurisdiction in the case concerning the Arbitral Award of October 3, 1899 (Guyana v. Venezuela) will open on Tuesday June 30, 2020 at 2 p.m. at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the seat of the Court.

Venezuela has maintained that the ICJ has no jurisdiction to hear the case involving its claim over territory that was settled in an Award regarding the boundary between the Colony of British Guiana and the United States of Venezuela, of October 3, 1899. Guyana is asking the ICJ to “to confirm the legal validity and binding effect” of this Award.

The ICJ said on Friday in view of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the hearings will take place in the Great Hall of Justice using videoconference technology and with the physical presence of some of Members of the Court.

Members of the media and the public will be able to follow the oral proceedings on the internet through a live web stream.

The ICJ said the programme of the hearings will be announced at a later stage.

Last month, the ICJ had extended the period during which no hearings or judicial meetings will be held due to the ongoing COVD-19 pandemic, to the end of May.

The border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela intensified after US oil major ExxonMobil discovered large quantities of oil off the Guyana coast back in 2015. The English-speaking South American country began producing oil in December last year and exploration and development activities continue offshore.

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