WORLD COURT: Venezuela loses preliminary point that Britain is an indispensable party to border case with Guyana

Last Updated on Thursday, 6 April 2023, 9:37 by Denis Chabrol

The International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, on Thursday ruled that the United Kingdom (UK) is not an indispensable third party to consider Guyana’s case that the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal Award is a full, final and perfect settlement of the boundary between the two neighbouring South American nations.

This ruling potentially clears the way for the hearing of Guyana’s substantive case.

The court largely based its decision on the 1966 Geneva Agreement which had considered then British Guiana becoming independent, which was done three months later on May 26, 1966. Further, the court found that it was for Venezuela and British Guiana to have “the sole role in the settlement of the dispute through the mechanism of the mixed commission.”

“The court concludes that the Geneva agreement specifies particular roles for Guyana and Venezuela, and that its provisions including Article eight, do not provide a role for the United Kingdom in choosing or in participating in the means of settlement of the dispute. pursuant to Article four,” the ICJ found.

The ICJ judgement states that the court considers that the scheme established by Articles Two and Four of Geneva agreement reflects a common understanding of all parties to that agreement, that the controversy which existed between the United Kingdom and Venezuela on 17 February 1966 would be settled by Guyana and Venezuela through one of the Dispute Settlement Procedures envisaged in the agreement.