Review of ICJ decision on Black Sea’s continental shelf boundary is hard to believe

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Diplomat Bogdan Aurescu rejected on Wednesday the possibility that the decision of the Hague International Court of Justice be reviewed in the case against Ukraine, regarding the division of the Black Sea continental shelf, judging that Yulia Timoshenko’s statements are made within an electoral context.

A year after the Hague made the ruling, the diplomat that headed the Romanian delegation that won the case against Ukraine launched his volume named “Forestage and Backstage of the Hague Trial. Memoirs of a Young Diplomat”.
On such occasion, he indicated that the “promise” of Ukraine’s Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko to obtain from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) a reviewed ruling on the division of the Black Sea’s economic areas between Kiev and Bucharest is related to the Kiev presidential elections, the current Premier being one of the candidates.

“There is no doubt that we are looking forward to working with the future president and with the future government in Kiev. Today’s statements are not singular. They are made within an electoral context and must be treated as such. What it can be really clearly said is that the ICJ decision is final and compulsory.
It can neither be challenged by first nor by second appeal. The route of the boundary line is again, very clear. The decision meant the consideration of a given geographical context and the enforcement of a geographical method”, explained Bogdan Aurescu.

He rejected the possibility that the Hague decision be re-examined and indicated that reviews are theoretically provided by the ICJ statute, which imposes limitative and strict conditions. We are talking about the discovery of the existence of a fact, which had it been known by the Court during the trial or by the party invoking it, would have radically modified the court’s settlement while the party invoking it should not have been guilty, argued Aurescu.

“For me, it is very hard to believe that in a case of sea boundary limitation, a decision review can be reached. What new facts can appear in relation to the geographical context of the Black Sea shores? I suppose everyone knows them for centuries. Under no circumstance do I believe that a review might be successful. Nevertheless, over the entire Court’s history only three review requests had been registered, which were declared inadmissible by the Court”, added Aurescu.

In the decision ruled on February 3, 2009, the International Court of Justice in Hague recognized Romania’s sovereign jurisdiction for a surface of 9,700 square kilometers of the 12,000 square kilometers of continental shelf in the Black Sea that made the object of the dispute with Ukraine.
At the same time, the Court ruled that the Serpents Island cannot be considered a basic point and, consequently, it cannot have a role in establishing the boundary line of the continental shelf and of the exclusive economic areas. The Hague international court trial started on September 16, 2004 at Romania’s request.

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