Maritime Dispute: ITLOS Rules In Favour of Ghana

Maritime Dispute: ITLOS Rules In Favour of Ghana

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) says Ghana did not violate the sovereign right of its neighbour, Ivory Coast with its oil exploration activities.

In a ruling read by President of the Special Chamber, Judge Boualem Bouguetaia Saturday, the Chamber upheld Ghana’s argument that it has not encroached on the marine borders of its neighbour.

 Maritime boundary between Ghana and Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast had prayed the Chamber to declare and adjudge that the activities undertaken “unilaterally” by Ghana in the Ivorian maritime area constituted a violation of its exclusive sovereign rights.

It had also wanted the Chamber to declare that activities carried by Ghana constituted a violation of the obligation to negotiate in good faith.

But the Hamburg-based tribunal said Ivory Coast did not produce a resounding argument to back its claim that bilateral relations held with its neighbour over the matter were not meaningful.

Maritime boundary between Ghana and Ivory Coast

“Cote d’Ivoire has not convinced the Chamber that Ghana did not negotiate/act in good faith,” the Chambers said.

The Special Chamber also rejected Ghana’s claim that there was an agreement between the two countries on the maritime boundary.

“There is not tacit agreement between the parties to delimit the boundary,” Judge Boualem Bouguetaia said.

The Chamber, however, used the equidistance methodology to establish the maritime boundaries between the two countries.

 

Former Attorney-General, Marrietta Opong-Brew with new Attorney-General, Gloria Akuffo

Ivory Coast had argued the angle bisector methodology is a geometric approach to addressing the boundary issue but the Chamber rejected that.

It used a modified version of the equidistance methodology, contrary to the one advocated by Ghana, to delimit the marine borders.

The ruling brings to an end a four-year-old maritime dispute between the two West African darlings.

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