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Nicaragua attempted to annex their own islands to Colombia in an ICJ questioning disaster

Le Monde reports, many of the delegates sitting on the ICJ council today were confused by Nicaragua's response to a portion of their questioning. For those unaffiliated with the United Nations, the ICJ or International Committee for Justice presents disputes between two countries. The delegates are then in charge of questioning and reaching a fair impartial decision on which country has the stronger claim.

Today the ICJ heard about the dispute that occurred when Colombia violated the waters around the San Andres y Providencia Islands Colombia claims that Nicaragua is no longer responsibly managing the environment on the islands and because of that they sent a ship into the waters for environmental purposes. However upon investigation it was concluded that the waters may be used for commercial gain in the future such as tourism or oil drilling which is something Colombia has been known to do in the past.

During the questioning the representative from Nicaragua answered one of the delegation's questions in a very odd manner. They were asked what they believe the ruling should be and according to the Justice from Russia they answered that they believed the previous ruling on the matter that went in their favor should be reversed. According to the Russian delegate, “they were confused by the intense line of questioning which prompted them to make a mistake when answering one of the questions that caused them to possibly mispeak; however we are unsure what exactly occurred”.

The bottom line is that Nicaragua accidentally refuted a decision made by the ICJ several years ago when they ruled in Nicaragua's favor regarding the sovereignty of the islands located where the incident occurred, by saying that they believe the decision was ruled incorrectly and thereby rejecting their sovereignty over the island and recognizing the Colombian claim on them. Whether or not this was purposeful remains unclear but Colombia has not yet responded as to whether this will prompt them to attempt to overturn the decision in another court case. Either way, the ICJ still intends to resolve the dispute over the violation of the Nicaraguan waters however this certainly wasn't very helpful to the Nicaraguan argument. Whether this will affect the ICJ’s ruling remains to be seen.

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