ICJ judgment in Nicaragua v Costa Rica case

International Court of Justice finds Costa Rica in breach of international obligation to carry out EIA for road along the border with Nicaragua

The judgment was given today (16 December 2015) by the International Court of Justice in the Nicaragua v Costa Rica (Border Road) case.  

Dr William Sheate, Technical Director at CEP,  testified at the ICJ hearing in April this year on behalf of Nicaragua, and provided written evidence on Costa Rica’s failure to meet its obligation under international law to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) prior to the construction of the road (“Route 1856”) along the San Juan River, the border with Nicaragua.

The Court found in its judgment today that Costa Rica was in breach of its obligation under international law to conduct an EIA prior to the construction of the road, and its claim of an emergency situation which justified an exemption from EIA was dismissed by the Court.  

“THE COURT, …. (6) Unanimously,
Finds that Costa Rica has violated its obligation under general international law by failing to carry out an environmental impact assessment concerning the construction of Route 1856”

Paragraph 229, Judgment 16 December 2015, (see ICJ Press Release for further information)