Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)

On Tuesday 3 February 2009 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rendered its Judgment in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine). A public sitting took place at 10 a.m. at the Peace Palace in The Hague, during which the President of the Court, Judge Rosalyn Higgins, read the Court’s Judgment :

In its Judgment, which is final, binding and without appeal, the Court unanimously

“Decides that starting from Point 1, as agreed by the Parties in Article 1 of the 2003 State Border Régime Treaty, the line of the single maritime boundary delimiting the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zones of Romania and Ukraine in the Black Sea shall follow the 12-nautical-mile arc of the territorial sea of Ukraine around Serpents’ Island until Point 2 (with co-ordinates 45° 03' 18.5" N and 30° 09' 24.6" E) where the arc intersects with the line equidistant from Romania’s and Ukraine’s adjacent coasts. From Point 2 the boundary line shall follow the equidistance line through Points 3 (with co-ordinates 44° 46' 38.7" N and 30° 58' 37.3" E) and 4 (with co-ordinates 44° 44' 13.4" N and 31° 10' 27.7" E) until it reaches Point 5 (with co-ordinates 44° 02' 53.0" N and 31° 24' 35.0" E). From Point 5 the maritime boundary line shall continue along the line equidistant from the opposite coasts of Romania and Ukraine in a southerly direction starting at a geodetic azimuth of 185° 23' 54.5" until it reaches the area where the rights of third States may be affected.”

For accompanying map, see Course of the maritime boundary as established by the Court in its Judgment

History of the dispute

In short, the Parties disagreed on the course of a single maritime boundary to be established between the two States, thereby delimiting the continental shelf and the economic zones appertaining to them. In this respect the presence of Serpents’ Island, a small island situated in the north-western part of the Black Sea, approximately 20 nautical miles east of the Danube delta, played an important role. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine inherited control over the island.


Serpents' Island, also known as Snake Island, (Black Sea)

In 1997, Romania and Ukraine signed a treaty in which both states "reaffirm that the existing border between them is inviolable and therefore, they shall refrain, now and in future, from any attempt against the border, as well as from any demand, or act of, seizure and usurpation of part or all the territory of the Contracting Party". Romania agreed with the terms of the treaty, as it opened for the country a door to NATO. However, both sides agreed that if no resolution on maritime borders could be reached within two years, then either side could go to the International Court of Justice to seek a final ruling.

History of the proceedings

On 16 September 2004, Romania indeed filed an
Application instituting proceedings against Ukraine in respect of a dispute “concerning the establishment of a single maritime boundary between the two States in the Black Sea, thereby delimiting the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zones appertaining to them”. Romania stated that on 2 June 1997 Ukraine and itself signed a Treaty on Relations of Co-operation and Good-Neighbourliness, as well as an Additional Agreement, by which the two States committed themselves to finding agreement on the above-mentioned matters. Romania contended that negotiations held since 1998 have been inconclusive. Romania invoked Article 4 (h) of the Additional Agreement, which provides the dispute to be brought to the International Court of Justice. Later on Romania filed its Memorial and Ukraine its Counter-Memorial. By an Order of 30 June 2006, the Court authorized the filing of a Reply by Romania and a Rejoinder by Ukraine. Public hearings in the Great Hall of Justice were held in the case from 2 to 19 September 2008.

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For more information on this case :

Peace Palace Library systematic codes : 96a, 97a, 189d

Peace Palace Library keywords : International Court of Justice, Romania, Ukraine, Black Sea, continental shelf, Exclusive Economic Zone, maritime borders, demarcation, jurisprudence, cases

ICJ documents :

Application
- 16 September 2004 Application instituting proceedings
PDF 11.8 Mb

Written Proceedings
- 19 August 2005 Memorial of Romania
PDF 8.1 Mb
- 19 May 2006 Counter-memorial of Ukraine
PDF 36.1 Mb
- 22 December 2006 Reply of Romania
PDF 98.3 Mb
- 7 July 2007 Rejoinder of Ukraine
PDF 17.8 Mb

Oral Proceedings

- CR 2008/18 Public sitting held on Tuesday 2 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 397 Kb
- CR 2008/19 Public sitting held on Wednesday 3 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 463.4 Kb Translation PDF 486.3 Kb
- CR 2008/20 Public sitting held on Thursday 4 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 443.1 Kb Translation PDF 409.2 Kb
- CR 2008/21 Public sitting held on Friday 5 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 364 Kb Translation PDF 332.4 Kb
- CR 2008/24 Public sitting held on Tuesday 9 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 292.1 Kb Translation PDF 253.7 Kb
- CR 2008/26 Public sitting held on Wednesday 10 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 297.1 Kb Translation PDF 239.3 Kb
- CR 2008/28 Public sitting held on Thursday 11 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 320.4 Kb Translation PDF 282.8 Kb
- CR 2008/29 Public sitting held on Friday 12 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 289.9 Kb Translation PDF 217.4 Kb
- CR 2008/30 Public sitting held on Monday 15 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 400.4 Kb Translation PDF 445.3 Kb
- CR 2008/31 Public sitting held on Tuesday 16 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, Vice-President Al-Khasawneh, Acting President, presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 328.6 Kb Translation PDF 344.3 Kb
- CR 2008/32 Public sitting held on Thursday 18 September 2008, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 369.3 Kb Translation PDF 328 Kb
- CR 2008/33 Public sitting held on Friday 19 September 2008, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 196.3 Kb Translation PDF 144.3 Kb

Orders

- Order of 19 November 2004 Fixing of time-limits: Memorial and Counter-Memorial
PDF 508.3 Kb
- Order of 30 June 2006 Authorizing of submission of Reply and Rejoinder; Fixing of time-limits
PDF 39 Kb
- Order of 8 June 2007 Extension of time-limit: Rejoinder
PDF 12 Kb

Press releases

-
16/01/2009 - 2009/2 - Court to deliver its Judgment on Tuesday 3 February 2009 at 10 a.m.
-
19/09/2008 - 2008/29 - Conclusion of the public hearings - Court begins its deliberation
-
24/07/2008 - 2008/22 - The Court will hold public hearings from Tuesday 2 to Friday 19 September 2008
-
11/06/2007 - 2007/17 - Extension of time-limit for the filing of Ukraine’s Rejoinder
-
03/07/2006 - 2006/24 - The Court fixes time-limits for the filing of a Reply and a Rejoinder
-
19/11/2004 - 2004/34 - Fixing of time-limits for the filing of written pleadings
-
16/09/2004 - 2004/31 - Romania brings a case against Ukraine to the Court in a dispute concerning the maritime boundary between the two States in the Black Sea

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