ICJ to Deliver Pulp Mills Decision

April 14, 2010

Mocona Falls, on the Uruguay River The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will deliver its Judgment in the case concerning Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina v. Uruguay) on 20 April 2010.  The Vice-President of the Court, acting as President  in the case, Judge Peter Tomka, will read the Court’s Judgment.

The case is of interest for how it will treat the attribution of acts to the two states (there are a variety of private parties involved) and the calculation of damages and compensation for something as ethereal as diminished water quality and non-consultation. 

The dispute arises out of the Uruguay River is shared by the two countries and is protected by a treaty, the 1975 Statute of the River Uruguay, which requires both parties to inform the other of any project that might affect the river.

Argentina claimed that the Uruguayan government had not asked for permission to build various paper mills along the river for a private operator and that water pollution was crossing state boundaries. Uruguayan authorities countered that the Treaty does not require that permission be obtained, but merely that the other party be appropriately informed, and that conversations had indeed been held and filed, without objections on the Argentinean part.

Further details on the ICJ case can be found on the ICJ’s website as can the judgement once it is delivered.  A more extensive background of the dispute can be found on Wikipedia