Guyana objects to Venezuela’s request for 12 months to submit more pleadings to World Court

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 June 2024, 19:25 by Writer

Attorney General Anil Nandlall (extreme left, front row) with Guyana’s legal team, Agent to the ICJ Carl Greenidge (second from left) and Charge D’Affaires at Guyana’s Embassy to Belgium, Lloyd Gunraj.

Guyana on Tuesday objected to Venezuela’s request to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for 12 months to submit additional pleadings in the border dispute case over the Essequibo Region, Attorney General Anil Nandlall said.

“Guyana noted that Venezuela’s request for a 12-month period was excessive given that the case has been pending for six (6) years and that the subsequent pleadings are not intended to recite facts and legal issues already raised,” said Mr Nandlall who travelled to the Hague for a meeting between the ICJ President, Judge Nawaf Salam and the countries’ agents in the case. The ICJ President summoned the parties to the meeting to determine whether a second round of written pleadings was necessary following Venezuela’s submission of its Counter-Memorial on April 8, 2024.

Nandlall said, while both sides agreed that a second round of pleadings was necessary, Guyana wanted six months to do so from the date of Venezuela’s Counter-Memorial submission, implying a deadline of October 8, 2024 but was open to extending that to late October subject to the Court’s Diary.

Venezuela, the Attorney General said, requested a 12-month period from Guyana’s October reply to adequately prepare its rejoinder, citing the complexity of the case, despite the ICJ’s procedural rules which generally favour shorter time limits.

The Attorney General’s Chambers said the ICJ would now issue an order setting appropriate timelines for both parties to submit their respective second-round of pleadings, taking into account Tuesday’s meeting.

Guyana’s delegation was led by Mr Nandlall and included Guyana’s agent at the ICJ, Carl B. Greenidge; Legal Counsel Philippe Sands, Legal Counsel, Pierre D’Argent, and Chargé d’Affaires at Guyana’s Embassy to Belgium, Lloyd Gunraj. Venezuela’s team included its Agent at the ICJ Samuel Reinaldo Moncada Acosta.