Dispute Concerning Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary between Ghana and Côte d’lvoire in the Atlantic Ocean
On 3rd December 2014, Ghana and Côte d’lvoire concluded a special agreement to submit their ongoing dispute over the Atlantic Ocean to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). By the order dated 12th January 2015, the Tribunal formed a special chamber composed of five judges to deal with the dispute between the parties.
On 18th February 2015, the President of the special chamber held consultations with the parties with regard to the questions of procedure in the case. During the consultations, the parties agreed to have Ghana submitted its memorial on 4th September 2015, while Côte d’lvoire will file its counter-memorial on 4th April 2016.
In case where the special chamber finds it necessary to authorize the presentation of reply and rejoinder, the time limit for the submission is 4th July 2016 and 4th October 2016 subsequently. Based on the consultations, the President of the special chamber decided for now to have Ghana submitted its memorial on 4th September 2015 and counter-memorial submitted by Côte d’lvoire on 4th April 2016.
The President of the special chamber reserves the right to decide further about the subsequent procedure. On 27th February 2015, Côte d’lvoire has requested the special chamber to order provisional measure in the deputed areas. In its written submission, Côte d’lvoire has sought for provisional measures requiring Ghana to:
- Suspend all ongoing oil exploration and exploitation operation in the disputed areas;
- Refrain from granting new permit for oil exploration and exploitation operation in the disputed areas;
- Take all steps necessary to prevent information resulting from the past, ongoing or future exploration activities conducted by Ghana, or with its authorization, in the disputed area from being used in any way whatsoever to the detriment of Côte d’Ivoire;
- Take all necessary steps to preserve the continental shelf, its superjacent waters and its subsoil; and
- Desist and refrain from any unilateral action entailing a risk of prejudice to the rights of Côte d’Ivoire and any unilateral action that might lead to aggravating the dispute.