Guyana, Venezuela to make 2nd round of pleadings in border controversy case before ICJ

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

Statement on the meeting between the President of the ICJ and Agents of Guyana and Venezuela in the Case Guyana v. Venezuela Arbitral Award 3 October 1899

On June 11, 2024, Judge Nawaf Salam, President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), convened a meeting with the agents of Guyana and Venezuela regarding the Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899 (Guyana v. Venezuela). The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the subsequent procedures in the case, pursuant to Article 31 of the Rules of the Court, and to determine whether a second round of written pleadings was necessary following Venezuela’s submission of its Counter-Memorial on April 8, 2024, and, if deemed necessary, to establish the timelines required for the preparation of these pleadings.

Both sides agreed that a second round of written pleadings was necessary. Guyana proposed a period of 6 months from the date of Venezuela’s Counter-Memorial submission (implying a deadline of October 8, 2024) for its Reply, however, was open to extending this to late October subject to the Court’s Diary. Venezuela 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.

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.

The Court will now issue an order setting appropriate timelines for both parties to submit their respective second-round of pleadings, taking into account the representative representations made.

Guyana’s delegation was led by the Hon. Mohabir A. Nandlall SC MP, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs and included Hon. Carl B. Greenidge, Agent for Guyana at the ICJ, Philippe Sands, Legal Counsel, Pierre D’Argent, Legal Counsel and Lloyd Gunraj, Chargé d’Affaires a.i, Embassy of Guyana to the Kingdom of Belgium.

Venezuela’s team included H.E Samuel Reinaldo Moncada Acosta, Agent for Venezuela to the ICJ who was supported by a delegation and legal team.