Single maritime boundary established between Guyana and Suriname 10 Oct 2007
The Arbitral Tribunal constituted to settle the dispute between Guyana and Suriname has rendered its decision, establishing a single maritime boundary between the two countries.

Delimitation line of the Maritime boundary between Guyana (left) and Suriname (right)The Award of 17 September 2007, in which the specifically constituted Arbitral Tribunal established a single maritime boundary between Guyana and Suriname, has recently been made public by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

In 2004, following an initiative by the Government of Guyana, an Arbitral Tribunal of five persons was constituted under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in order to settle a dispute between Suriname and Guyana regarding the delimitation of their maritime boundary. The Tribunal's task was to establish that boundary. The dispute also concerned the lawfulness of certain acts committed by the two States in the disputed area.

In a lengthy and comprehensive Award, the Tribunal took into account the various submissions and claims of Guyana and Suriname in establishing a single maritime boundary between them. In rendering its decision, the Tribunal paid detailed attention to the extensive international jurisprudence now available for such a delimitation as well as to relevant state practice.

See full map of the delimitation of the maritime boundary

The delimitation of the first three nautical miles (nm) of the Territorial Sea between the two States is the median line in the Corentyne (boundary) river, already established in a 1936 treaty, effectively giving the mouth of the river to Suriname.

From that point to the12 nm outer boundary of the Territorial Sea, the Tribunal decided to deviate from the median line and drew a diagonal line to the point where the delimitation of the Continental Shelf and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of both States begins. The Tribunal decided to delimit the Continental Shelf and the EEZ of Guyana and Suriname by one 'unadjusted' equidistance line.

Finally, the Tribunal also pronounced on the legality of certain acts of both States relating to their maritime dispute in light of both the UNCLOS and general international law. It found unanimously that there was insufficient ground to grant financial compensation to either State, but declared that both Guyana and Suriname had violated their obligations under international law. The Tribunal considered that the declaration in itself constituted reparation in the form of satisfaction.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration acted as registry in this case.

Press release

Page Tools
Share |