Peace Palace, Carnegieplein 2, 2517 KJ The Hague, Netherlands Tel.: +31 (0)70 302 2323 Fax: +31 (0)70 364 9928 Website: www.icj-cij.org
No. 2010/10 20 April 2010
Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina v. Uruguay) The Court finds that Uruguay has breached its procedural obligations to co-operate with Argentina and theAdministrative Commission of the River Uruguay (CARU) during the development of plans for the CMB (ENCE) and Orion (Botnia) pulp mills The Court declares that Uruguay has not breached its substantive obligations for the protection of the environment provided for by the Statute of the River Uruguay by authorizing the construction and commissioning of the Orion (Botnia) mill
THE HAGUE, 20 April 2010. TheInternational Court of Justice (ICJ), principal judicial organ of the United Nations, today delivered its Judgment in the case concerning Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina v. Uruguay). In its Judgment, which is final, without appeal and binding on the Parties, the Court, (1) finds, by thirteen votes to one, that the Eastern Republic of Uruguay has breached its procedural obligations underArticles 7 to 12 of the 1975 Statute of the River Uruguay and that the declaration by the Court of this breach constitutes appropriate satisfaction; (2) finds, by eleven votes to three, that the Eastern Republic of Uruguay has not breached its substantive obligations under Articles 35, 36 and 41 of the 1975 Statute of the River Uruguay; (3) rejects, unanimously, all other submissions by theParties. Reasoning of the Court The Court recalls that the dispute between the Parties concerns the planned construction, authorized by Uruguay, of the CMB (ENCE) pulp mill, and the construction and commissioning, also authorized by Uruguay, of the Orion (Botnia) pulp mill, on the River Uruguay. 1. The scope of the Court’s jurisdiction The Court notes that the Parties are in agreement that itsjurisdiction is based on Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the Court, and on Article 60, paragraph 1, of the 1975 Statute of the River Uruguay (hereinafter the “1975 Statute”). The Court is of the view that the claims advanced
-2by Argentina concerning noise and visual pollution, and those concerning “bad odours” produced by the Orion (Botnia) mill, do not fall within its jurisdiction becausethey do not relate to “the interpretation or application” of the 1975 Statute, within the meaning of Article 60 of that instrument (para. 52). The Court further observes that Article 41 (a), the purpose of which is to protect and preserve the aquatic environment through the enactment of rules and the adoption of appropriate measures by each of the Parties in accordance with applicableinternational agreements, “does not incorporate international agreements as such into the 1975 Statute but rather sets obligations for the parties to exercise their regulatory powers, in conformity with [these] . . . agreements” (para. 62). The Court concludes that the multilateral conventions relied on by Argentina do not fall within the scope of Article 60 of the 1975 Statute and that therefore it has nojurisdiction to rule whether Uruguay has complied with its obligations thereunder (para. 63). Finally, the Court points out that, in interpreting the terms of the 1975 Statute, it will have recourse to the customary rules on treaty interpretation as reflected in Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (para. 65). 2. The alleged breach of procedural obligations (a) The linksbetween the procedural obligations and the substantive obligations The Court notes that the object and purpose of the 1975 Statute, set forth in Article 1 of that instrument, is for the Parties to achieve “the optimum and rational utilization of the River Uruguay” by means of the “joint machinery” for co-operation, which originates in the procedural obligations and the substantive obligations under...