Summary of judgement on Ghana-Cote D’lvoire Maritime dispute


The long standing maritime dispute between Ghana and Cote D’lvoire came to what appears to be a closure today [Saturday], September 23, 2017, after the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ruled in favour of Ghana.

The Chamber ruled that there has not been any violation on the part of Ghana on Côte d’Ivoire’s maritime boundary.

It further rejected  Côte D’Ivoire’s argument that Ghana’s coastal lines were unstable. It also noted that Ghana has not violated Côte d’Ivoire’s sovereign rights with its oil exploration in the disputed basin in question.

Below is a summary of Chamber’s judgement:

 (1) Unanimously,

Finds that it has jurisdiction to delimit the maritime boundary between the parties in the territorial sea, in the exclusive economic zone and on the continental shelf, both within and beyond 200 nm.

(2) Unanimously,

Finds that there is no tacit agreement between the parties to delimit their territorial sea, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf both within and beyond 200 nm, and rejects Ghana’s claim that Côte d’Ivoire is estopped from objecting to the “customary equidistance boundary”.

(3) Unanimously,

Decides that the single maritime boundary for the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf within and beyond 200 nm starts at BP 55+ with the coordinates 05° 05’ 23.2” N, 03° 06’ 21.2’’ W in WGS 84 as a geodetic datum ITLOS/Press 264 23 September 2017 4 and is defined by turning points A, B, C, D, E, F with the following coordinates and connected by geodetic lines:

A: 05° 01’ 03.7” N 03° 07’ 18.3” W

B: 04° 57’ 58.9” N 03° 08’ 01.4” W

C: 04° 26’ 41.6” N 03° 14’ 56.9” W

D: 03° 12’ 13.4” N 03° 29’ 54.3” W

E: 02° 59’ 04.8” N 03° 32’ 40.2” W

F: 02° 40’ 36.4” N 03° 36’ 36.4” W

From turning point F, the single maritime boundary continues as a geodetic line starting at an azimuth of 191° 38’ 06.7’’ until it reaches the outer limits of the continental shelf.

 (4) Unanimously,

Finds that it has jurisdiction to decide on the claim of Côte d’Ivoire against Ghana on the alleged international responsibility of Ghana.

 (5) Unanimously,

Finds that Ghana did not violate the sovereign rights of Côte d’Ivoire.

 (6) Unanimously,

Finds that Ghana did not violate article 83, paragraphs 1 and 3, of the Convention.

(7) Unanimously,

Finds that Ghana did not violate the provisional measures prescribed by the Special Chamber in its Order of 25 April 2015.”

By: Marian Ansah/