Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Aerial Herbicide Spraying (Ecuador v. Colombia) Case removed from ICJ docket at the request Ecuador

The case brought by the Republic of Ecuador against the Republic of Colombia on 31 March 2008 before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in respect of a dispute concerning “Colombia’s aerial spraying of toxic herbicides at locations near, at and across its border with Ecuador” was removed from the Court’s List on 13 September 2013 at the request of Ecuador.

By a letter dated 12 September 2013, the Agent of Ecuador, referring to Article 89 of the Rules of Court and to an Agreement between the Parties dated 9 September 2013 “that fully and finally resolves all of Ecuador’s claims against Colombia” in the case, notified the Court that his Government wished to discontinue the proceedings in the case.

A copy of that letter was immediately communicated to the Government of Colombia, which, by a letter of the same date, informed the Court, pursuant to Article 89, paragraph 2, of the Rules of Court, that it made no objection to the discontinuance of the case as requested by Ecuador.

According to the letters received from the Parties, the Agreement of 9 September 2013 establishes, inter alia, an exclusion zone, in which Colombia will not conduct aerial spraying operations, creates a Joint Commission to ensure that spraying operations outside that zone have not caused herbicides to drift into Ecuador and, so long as they have not, provides a mechanism for the gradual reduction in the width of the said zone; according to the letters, the Agreement sets out operational parameters for Colombia’s spraying programme, records the agreement of the two Governments to ongoing exchanges of information in that regard, and establishes a dispute settlement mechanism.

In consequence, the President of the Court, on 13 September 2013, made an Order recording the discontinuance by Ecuador of the proceedings and directing the removal of the case from the Court’s List.

(ICJ Press Release)


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