Peru takes Chile to UN World Court over maritime dispute

16 January 2008 –

Peru today asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, to adjudicate a maritime boundary dispute with Chile.

In its application Peru claims that the maritime zones between Chile and Peru have never been delimited by agreement or otherwise, and accordingly delimitation should be determined by the ICJ in accordance with customary international law.

Peru said its consistent endeavours to negotiate the various issues in dispute had constantly met with a Chilean refusal.

One area concerns the boundary between the maritime zones of the two in the Pacific Ocean, while a second covers a maritime zone “lying within 200 nautical miles of Peru’s coast, and thus appertaining to Peru, but which Chile considers to be part of the high seas,” according to the application.

Peru now “requests the Court to determine the course of the boundary between the maritime zones of the two States in accordance with international law . . . and to adjudge and declare that Peru possesses exclusive sovereign rights in the maritime area situated within the limit of 200 nautical miles from its coast but outside Chile’s exclusive economic zone or continental shelf,” it states.

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