Guyana’s preparations are on schedule ahead of its submissions to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding the longstanding border controversy with neighbouring Venezuela.
Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge, during a press briefing today (Wednesday), disclosed that Guyana will be ready in time for the November 19 deadline to submit its memorial addressing the question of the jurisdiction of the World Court to hear the ongoing border controversy with Venezuela.
“The Court has outlined the process, what is required of Venezuela and of Guyana and we are in the process of preparing the memorial for consideration by the Court, we have until the end of November to do that and Venezuela will have until April to submit their’s, so we are on track” Greenidge said.
Guyana’s case is being led by Sir Shridath Ramphal and a mixed experience team of both local and overseas lawyers.
Following a ruling by the UN General Secretary back in January referring the border controversy to the ICJ, Guyana filed its case in March.
However, Venezuela has refused to participate in the proceedings, saying that it does not recognise the jurisdiction of the World Court in the matter.
To this end, the ICJ has stated that the parties will first have to address the question of its jurisdiction in the matter. While Guyana was given up to next month, Venezuela will have to file its counter-memorial by April 18.
“The process that the ICJ has outlined, is that we will make the submission, Venezuela is entitled to make the submission and if Venezuela cares not to make the submission, it makes no difference. The only consequence there will be is that the process will finish more quickly if they do not participate” Greenigde disclosed.
In the meantime, Guyana has asked the ICJ to activate Article 53 of the Statute of the Court, which states that “whenever one of the parties does not appear before the Court, or fails to defend its case, the other Party may call upon the Court to decide in favour of its claim.”