The International Court of Justice (ICJ), principal judicial organ of the UN, delivers its Judgment on the preliminary objections raised by Kenya in the case of Somalia v. Kenya on 2 February 2017.
La Cour internationale de Justice (CIJ), organe judiciaire principal des Nations Unies, rend son arrêt sur les exceptions préliminaires soulevées par le Kenya.en l’affaire Somalie c. Kenya le 2 février 2017.
Official name of the Case:
Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v. Kenya)
Nom officiel de l’affaire:
Question de la délimitation maritime dans l’océan Indien (Somalie c. Kenya
Brief Summary of the Proceedings as at 31 January 2016
1. Somalia’s Claims (Merits)
On 28 August 2014, Somalia filed an application instituting proceedings against Kenya with regard to a dispute concerning the delimitation of maritime spaces claimed by both States in the Indian Ocean. In its application, Somalia contended that both States “disagree[d] about the location of the maritime boundary in the area where their maritime entitlements overlap”, and asserted that “[d]iplomatic negotiations, in which their respective views have been fully exchanged, ha[d] failed to resolve this disagreement”. In consequence, Somalia requested the Court “to determine, on the basis of international law, the complete course of the single maritime boundary dividing all the maritime areas appertaining to Somalia and to Kenya in the Indian Ocean, including the continental shelf beyond 200 [nautical miles]”. The applicant also requested the Court “to determine the precise geographical co-ordinates of the single maritime boundary in the Indian Ocean”. For more details, please read Somalia’s Application and/or ICJ Press Release 2014/27 on the ICJ Website.
As the basis for the jurisdiction of the Court, the applicant invoked the provisions of Article 36, paragraph 2, of its Statute, and referred to the declarations recognizing the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court made under those provisions by Somalia on 11 April 1963 and by Kenya on 19 April 1965. In addition, Somalia submitted that “the jurisdiction of the Court under Article 36, paragraph 2, of its Statute is underscored by article 282 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea”, which Somalia and Kenya both ratified in 1989.
By an order of 16 October 2014, the President of the Court fixed 13 July 2015 and 27 May 2016 as the respective time limits for the filing of a memorial by Somalia and a counter-memorial by Kenya. The memorial of Somalia was filed within the time limit thus fixed.
2. Kenya’s Objections (Incidental Proceedings)
On 7 October 2015, Kenya raised certain preliminary objections to the jurisdiction of the Court and the admissibility of the application. The proceedings on the merits were therefore suspended. By an order of 9 October 2015, the Court fixed 5 February 2016 as the time limit within which Somalia might present a written statement of its observations and submissions on the preliminary objections raised by Kenya. The written statement of Somalia was filed within the time limit thus fixed.
Public hearings on the preliminary objections raised by Kenya took place from 19 to 23 September 2016. During the hearings, the delegation of Kenya was led by Professor Githu Muigai, Attorney-General of Kenya, as Agent. The delegation of Somalia was led by H.E. Mr. Ali Said Faqi, Ambassador of Somalia to Belgium, as Co-Agent.
At the end of the hearings, the Agents of the Parties presented the following submissions:
For Kenya: “The Republic of Kenya respectfully requests the Court to adjudge and declare that the case brought by Somalia against Kenya is not within the jurisdiction of the Court and is inadmissible, and is accordingly dismissed.”
For Somalia: “Somalia respectfully requests the Court: 1. To reject the Preliminary Objections raised by the Republic of Kenya; and 2. To find that it has jurisdiction to entertain the Application filed by the Federal Republic of Somalia.” The Court then held its deliberation. The Court’s Judgment on the preliminary objections will be delivered on 2 Feb. 2017.
Link to all public documents in the Case:
Lien vers tous les documents publics de l’affaire: