One of six vital organs of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, established in 1945, is situated in The Hague (Netherlands) with the responsibility of settling and advising any occurring legal disputes between countries worldwide.
8:01 The Presidents, Judges, Advocates and Registrar, all dressed in black professional robes, fill their allocated seats.
After greeting the entire court, the President, Anastasia Botsi, emphasized the professional conduct that must be maintained throughout the hearing by all members of the court. She repeatedly pleaded the occupants of the room to adhere to the rules and regulations of international law. To serve all their experience and knowledge for the sake of peace and unity of the countries involved. And to do so with nothing short of “Respect.”
Peru, represented by Shruti Sudarshan, begins the proceedings with an opening argument with referring to the Declaration of Santiago signed by the participants of the case in 1952. Time and time again she points towards their main concern which is to “ensure foreign fleets do not enter the country and to solve the problem of whaling in the Pacific”
While Peru demands “equitability” with relevance to the Maritime border, Chile demands that Peru’s argument be overlooked as the Advocate of Chile believes that “previous agreements have already been signed in the Treaty of the Pacific in the late 1900s,” stating that “fisherman will lose their jobs and our economy will suffer.”
“I solemnly affirm that the evidence that I am about to give shall be the whole truth
as best I know it.”
-The Oath of Truth
10:15 It’s the second day of the conference. After reciting the oath, the witnesses of either sides were called to the floor and examined by the advocates.
Peru’s witnesses expressed emotions of “anxiety,” “terror” and “excitement.” Mostly intimidated by the cross-examination made by Chile’s enthusiastic advocate, Mohamed Sabry, who, according to the Deputy President, Haider Jamal, “kept putting words into the witness’s mouth.”
Whilst Chile’s witnesses were both confident in speech and aggressive in manner to the point where President Anastasia had to repeatedly demand order.
9:20 Peru is ready to present its closing argument, standing by its previous statement insisting that the Court takes into consideration Peru’s stance. “How is the loss of 36,000 square km of Peruvian waters equitable results? How is limiting our fishermen’s ability to make a living, due to the provisional line set by the 1954 agreement, an equitable result ?”
Chile then defends its position by stating, “the offer has already been consented on without any objections by both states for the past six decades” and also declares that “beyond reasonable doubts, that the existence of a Maritime boundary is explicitly necessary.”
As this article is going to print, the verdict is still to be decided by the Presidents and Judges of the ICJ. Don’t forget to ask your fellow delegates for the outcome!
By Shahd El Shafei
Photo By Aya Nassif