Peru is Looking for a Few Good International Lawyers to Bring Chile to the ICJ
A war of words between the newbie presidents of Chile and Peru may send a long-running territorial dispute between those two countries to the International Court of Justice, according to this report.
Chilean president Michelle Bachelet remarked on TV that “[i]f Peru decides to go to the international justice courts, then that’s up to them”, Garcia responded just a few hours later: “Following President Bachelet’s friendly declaration, the doors have been opened for us to go to The Hague”.
As a lawyer, the first question is jurisdiction, jurisdiction, jurisdiction. Peru has accepted (conditioned on reciprocity) the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ. Chile has not, so any dispute before the ICJ would have to be based on Chile’s voluntary acceptance. I don’t think President Bachelet’s statement constitutes such acceptance quite yet.
Indeed, Peru may just be starting to chew over these knotty legal questions. According to the Peru news report, leading Peruvian congressman on this issue is looking for a good lawyer.
We need expert advise. We have to look for good lawyers, a good legal consulting firm with international experience, lawyers who have already litigated before the World Court.
This sounds like an invitation for international lawyers to start descending on Lima. Let the law-firm beauty pageant begin! (And I, ahem, will of course welcome any consulting fees any firm would like to throw my way).