BEST LAW REPORT SUBSCRIPTION PRICE!!

  • Cameroon v. Nigeria (No. 1)
  • 132
  • 2002-12-09
  • ₦ 200
  • Buy Now

Cameroon v. Nigeria (No. 1)

INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE

11  June  1998

CASE CONCERNING THE LAND AND MARITIME BOUNDARY

BETWEEN CAMEROON AND NIGERIA

( CAMEROON VS. NIGERIA )

PRELIMINARY OBJECTIONS

BOUNDARY - Boundary delimitation throughout the whole length of the boundary from tripoint in Lake Chad to sea - Whether there is no dispute concerning same

BOUNDARY - Boundary incident - Whether every boundary incident implies a challenge to the boundary

BOUNDARY - Cameroon’s request definitively to determine its boundary with Nigeria from Lake Chad to the sea - Whether admissible

BOUNDARY - Lake Chad - Determination of the boundary in Lake Chad to the extent that the boundary constitutes or is constituted by the tripoint in the Lake - Whether International Court of Justice should determine  - Legal interests of Chad - Whether would be affected by the determination of the tripoint

BOUNDARY - Lake Chad Basin Commission - Jurisdiction of to settle boundary dispute - Whether Cameroon has accepted that the Commission has jurisdiction to settle dispute between it and Nigeria

BOUNDARY - Maritime boundary - Prolongation of beyond point G Whether would involve rights and interests of third states - Whether would prevent International Court of Justice from proceeding to such prolongation

BOUNDARY - Maritime boundary between Nigeria and Cameroon -

Delimitation of - Whether any legal dispute exists pertaining thereto which is presently appropriate for resolution by the International Court of Justice

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Application filed by Cameroon against Nigeria Whether lacks sufficient clarity as to make it impossible for Nigeria to respond to allegations made therein - Whether also makes it impossible for the court to make a fair and effective determination

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Application filed by Cameroon in court - Whether Nigeria aware Cameroon’s intentions to do so

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Article 36, paragraph 2, of Statute Implementation of  - Meaning which is appropriate to give to condition of reciprocity

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Boundary delimitation throughout the whole length of the boundary from tripoint in Lake Chad to sea - Whether there is no dispute concerning same

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Cameroon’s request definitively to determine its boundary with Nigeria from Lake Chad to the sea - Whether admissible

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria - Whether has been defined with sufficient precision for the International Court of Justice to be validly seised of it

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Good faith as a principle of International Law Consideration of  - Whether Cameroon infringed upon the principle of good faith by not informing Nigeria of its intention to bring proceedings before the court

INTERNATIONAL LAW - International Court of Justice - Conditions laid down in its jurisprudence for an estoppel to exist - Whether present in the instant case

INTERNATIONAL LAW - International Court of Justice - Reference of matter thereto - Whether exhaustion of diplomatic negotiations a pre-condition thereto - Whether Cameroon in view of previous regular dealings with Nigeria can be said to have accepted a duty to settle all boundary questions through existing bilateral machinery Estoppel - Whether Cameroon estopped by its conduct from turning into court

INTERNATIONAL LAW - International peace and security at regional level -  Maintenance of - Whether an aspect of the purpose of Lake Chad Basin Commission

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Lake Chad - Determination of the boundary in Lake Chad to the extent that the boundary constitutes or is constituted by the tripoint in the Lake - Whether International Court of Justice should determine - Legal interests of Chad - Whether would be affected by the determination of the tripoint

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Lake Chad Basin Commission - History, purposes and principles of

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Lake Chad Basin Commission - Jurisdiction of to settle boundary dispute - Whether Cameroon has accepted that the Commission has jurisdiction to settle dispute between it and Nigeria

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Lake Chad Basin Commission - Purpose of Whether includes settlement at a regional level matters relating to maintenance of international peace and security

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Lake Chad Basin Commission - Whether a tribunal or arbitral or judicial body

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Lake Chad Basin Commission - Whether has exclusive competence for settlement of boundary disputes among member states of the Commission

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Maritime boundary - Prolongation of beyond point G - Whether would involve rights and interests of third states - Whether would prevent International Court of Justice from proceeding to such prolongation

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Maritime boundary between Nigeria and Cameroon - Delimitation of - Whether any legal dispute exists pertaining thereto which is presently appropriate for resolution by the International Court of Justice

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Notion of reciprocity and of equality - Essence of

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Optional Clause - Allowing reasonable time to elapse before a declaration can take effect - Whether amounts to introducing an element of uncertainty into the optional clause system

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Optional Clause - Deposit of declaration of acceptance as establishing consensual bonds- Whether time limit is required for the establishment of a consensual bond following such a deposit

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Optional Clause - Withdrawal of declarations thereunder - Whether ends existing consensual bonds - Effect on states who have withdrawn

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Optional Clause - Declaration of acceptance Deposit of with Secretary-General, United Nations - Whether makes accepting state a party to the system of Optional Clause in relation to the declarant States

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Principles of good faith and pacta sunt servanda -  Whether Nigeria justified in relying thereon in instant case

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Reciprocity - Whether there was absence of on the date Cameroon’s application was filed

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Rules of International Court of Justice, Article 38 , paragraph 2 thereof - Duty of Cameroon in the instant case to specify the precise nature of the claim and succinctly state the facts and grounds on which the claim is based - Purpose of: to promote basis for a judicial determination that Nigeria bears international responsibilities for alleged frontier incursions - Whether the provisions of the rules complied with by Cameroon

INTERNATIONAL LAW - Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties  (of 23 May, 1969), Article 78(c) thereof - Whether governs conditions in which a State expresses to be bound by a treaty - Distinction between regime for depositing and transmitting declarations of acceptance of compulsory jurisdiction and regime envisaged for treaties by the Vienna Convention

Issues:

1.            Whether the Court has jurisdiction to entertain Cameroon’s Application.

2.            Whether for a period of at least 24 years prior to the filing of the application, the parties have in their regular dealings accepted a duty to settle all boundary questions through the existing bilateral machinery.

3.            Whether the settlement of boundary disputes within the Lake Chad region is subject to the exclusive competence of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.

4.            Whether the Court should not in these proceedings determine the boundary in Lake Chad to the extent that the boundary constitutes or is constituted by the tripoint in the Lake.

5.            Whether there is no dispute concerning boundary delimitation as such throughout the whole length of the boundary from the tripoint in Lake Chad to the sea, subject, within Lake Chad, to the question of the title over Darak and adjacent islands, and without prejudice to the title over the Bakassi Peninsula.

6.            Whether there is no basis for a judicial determination that Nigeria bears international responsibility for alleged frontier incursions.

7.            Whether there is no legal dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between the two parties which is at the present time appropriate for resolution by the Court.

8.            Whether the question of maritime delimitation necessarily involves the rights and interests of third States and is admissible beyond point G.

Facts:

By its application dated 29 March, 1994, Cameroon instituted proceedings against Nigeria in respect of a dispute described as relating to the question of sovereignty over the Bakassi Peninsula. Cameroon maintained in its application that the delimitation (of the maritime boundary between the two states) has remained a partial one and that despite many attempts to complete it, the two parties have been unable to do so. Cameroon thus invites the Court “in order to avoid further incidents between the two countries, to determine the course of the maritime boundary between the two states beyond the line fixed in 1975”. The application relied on the declarations made by the two parties accepting the jurisdiction of the Court in order to found jurisdiction of the Court.

Furthermore, Cameroon on 6 June, 1994 filed in the Registry an additional application for the purpose of extending the subject of the dispute to a further dispute as relating essentially to the question of sovereignty over a part of the territory of Cameroon in the area of Lake Chad. Cameroon requested the Court “to specify definitively” the frontier between the two states from Lake Chad to the sea

Time-limits were subsequently fixed for the filing of Memorial of Cameroon and the Counter-Memorial of Nigeria. Cameroon filed its

Memorial. But Nigeria filed preliminary objections (which consisted of eight grounds which are identified in the issues for determination) to the jurisdiction of the Court and the admissibility of the Application.