After complaining that the International Court of Justice did not have jurisdiction to hear the border case filed by Guyana, the Government of Venezuela continues to not recognise the Court.
In a statement today, the Foreign Affairs Ministry announced that it has asked the Court to move ahead with oral hearings at the earliest possible date, to determine the Court’s jurisdiction over the case.
Both Guyana and Venezuela were asked to submit written submissions about whether the Court had jurisdiction over the matter.
Guyana submitted its written Memorial on Jurisdiction – demonstrating that the Court has jurisdiction to decide on the validity of the Arbitral Award and the resulting boundary – on 19 November 2018.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry said although the ICJ fixed 18 April 2019 as the date for Venezuela to submit a Counter-Memorial on Jurisdiction — in response to Guyana’s Memorial, Venezuela failed to make a submission on that date, and indicated in a letter from its Foreign Minister that it had chosen not do so.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Guyana is confident that the Court will agree that it has jurisdiction, and then proceed to decide on the merits of Guyana’s suit.
Guyana submitted the case to the Court after the Secretary General of the United Nations determined, that the dispute over the validity of the Arbitral Award, and the resulting boundary, must be decided by the Court. That constitutes a sufficient jurisdictional basis for the Court to proceed.
The Government of Guyana says it regrets that Venezuela, notwithstanding its obligations under the Geneva Agreement and the Secretary General’s decision to refer the matter to the Court, has chosen not to participate in the case.
Guyana has taken note of the Venezuelan Foreign Minister’s recent tweet that, at some point in the future, it will supply the Court with “information” about the case to assist it in the exercise of its judicial functions.
The Foreign Affairs statement said if this is a first step toward Venezuela’s full participation in the case, Guyana welcomes it.
At the same time, Guyana has reserved its right to object to any submission by Venezuela that violates the Court’s rules or is otherwise prejudicial.