The end of the first ICJ committee session left the participants felling anxious for the submissions to come. After the influential declaration of the delegate of Nicaragua, the judges were more than eager to inquire the lead and junior applicant of Colombia.
In a very persuasive argumentation, Claudia Trif and Andreea Papa stated that Colombia’s actions were not meant to intimidate or to affect in any way the authority of Nicaragua. The procedures only came as a manifest for international order since the problem of drug trafficking has an important effect outside the country’s borders.
The statement outraged the distrusting judges and even the vice president of the Court. Consequently, the series of questions that followed drew all the attention to the applicants of Colombia. Was Colombia abusing the right to innocent passage? Was their presence hostile? Is the magnitude of their army a reason to second guess their intentions? Can they invoke international aid in order to go over the 12 miles conventional limit? Are they trying to use this military problem in their advantage in order to gain authority over the territory?
After requesting a 5 minute break to prepare for the sudden amount of questions, the applicants of Colombia diplomatically avoided all accusations brought. Firstly, admitting to having one of the largest armies in the western hemisphere, Claudia and Andreea officially declared that their country’s army purpose is solely to fight international drug trafficking. Impersonating a vigilant country, Colombia denied having any other hidden purposes other than offering aid to a country clearly overwhelmed with the illegal trafficking problem.
Is it acceptable for a country which has historical interests in the territory of Nicaragua to invade the territory with what is one of the largest armies in the Western Hemisphere?
Don’t be quick to jump a conclusion. In the ICJ the right answer is never the obvious one, but the best debated one.
Article by Amalia Alecu