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ITLOS Sets September 23 To Rule On Ghana, Cote D'Ivoire Maritime Dispute

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) has set September 23, 2017, to deliver judgment in the dispute concerning the delimitation of the maritime boundary between Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire.

“The Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, constituted to deal with the Dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire in the Atlantic Ocean (Ghana/Côte d'Ivoire), will deliver its Judgment at 11 a.m. on Saturday, 23 September 2017. The Judgment will be read by Judge Boualem Bouguetaia, President of the Special Chamber,” ITLOS said in a release.

Ghana went to the ITLOS in September 2014, under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), seeking a declaration that it has not encroached on Cote d’Ivoire’s territorial waters.

It filed its suit based on Article 287 Annex VII of the 1982 UNCLOS.

Cote d’Ivoire in February 2015 filed for preliminary measures and urged the tribunal to suspend all activities on the disputed area until the definitive determination of the case, dubbed: “Dispute Concerning Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in the Atlantic Ocean.” “Case 23” was filed by Ghana after 10 failed negotiations.

But the Special Chamber of the ITLOS on April 25, 2015 declined to suspend production activities in the disputed area.

The Chamber at the time explained that in its view, “the suspension of ongoing activities conducted by Ghana in respect of which drilling has already taken place would entail the risk of considerable financial loss to Ghana, and its concessionaires and could also pose a serious danger to the marine environment resulting, in particular, from the deterioration of equipment.”