Peruvian lawsuit before ICJ

Demanda Peruana ante la Haya

Peruvian request on the international court of justice at the Hague

The Peruvian position on maritime delimitation between States with adjacent coasts was officially presented by the President of the Delegation of Peru in the Third Conference of the United Nations on the Law of the Sea in 1980, in the sense that, failing a specific convention on delimitation expressly agreed to definitively fix the maritime boundaries, and where there were no special circumstances or historic rights recognized by the parties, the equidistant line should as a general rule be applied.

  • In accordance with this position and conforming to the rules of the new Law of the Sea, on 23 May 1986 the then Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru set out the non-existence of an agreement of maritime boundaries between both countries to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, as well as the inequitable situation deriving from the application of the geographic parallel. Subsequently, the Ambassador commissioned for this step outlined to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile that the parallel line should be considered as a formula which, despite having fulfilled the express objective of avoiding incidents with seafarers with scant knowledge of navigation, was not adequate to satisfy the requirements of safety to the greater attention in administrating marine resources, with the aggravating circumstance that an extensive interpretation could generate a notorious situation of inequity and risk situation, to the detriment of the legitimate interests of Peru, that would come forth as seriously damaged.

This was later confirmed by a diplomatic Note from the Embassy of Peru in Chile which accompanied an Aide-Mémoire regarding the presentation made to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile.

From October 2000 onwards there was an exchange of Notes between Peru and Chile regarding the maritime delimitation issue and in 2004 Peru formally proposed the start of negotiations to end the controversy. Chile refused to negotiate.

Fulfilling the mandate of article 54 of the Political Constitution and upon an initiative of the Executive, Congress passed Law 28621, Peruvian Maritime Domain Baselines Law, enacted on 3 November 2005. Following said baselines the outer limit-southern sector- of the Maritime Domain of Peru was graphed, as recorded in the Chart approved by Supreme Decree No. 047-2007-RE dated 11 August 2007. In said Chart the existence of overlapping maritime zones projected from the coasts of Peru and Chile due to the orientation of the coasts of both countries can be appreciated. Said space constitutes the area in controversy between both States.

Additionally, the configuration of an area of sea within the Maritime Domain of Peru whose Eastern side is contiguous to the area in controversy can be observed in said map. Said area, which unquestionably corresponds to Peru, is contained within a larger area named by Chile as “Chilean presential sea”, and which according to Chilean legislation, it would correspond to Chile to have a presence.

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