Source(s) of the information:

Lawyers and other representatives

Judgment

1.
By an Application filed in the Registry of the Court on 25 February 2014, the Republic of Costa Rica (hereinafter "Costa Rica") instituted proceedings against the Republic of Nicaragua (hereinafter "Nicaragua") with regard to a dispute concerning the "establishment of single maritime boundaries between the two States in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, respectively, delimiting all the maritime areas appertaining to each of them, in accordance with the applicable rules and principles of international law" (hereinafter the "case concerning Maritime Delimitation").
2.
In its Application, Costa Rica seeks to found the jurisdiction of the Court on the declaration it made on 20 February 1973 under Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Statute of the Court, as well as on the declaration which Nicaragua made on 24 September 1929 (and amended on 23 October 2001) under Article 36 of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice and which is deemed, pursuant to Article 36, paragraph 5, of the Statute of the present Court, for the period which it still has to run, to be acceptance of the compulsory jurisdiction of this Court. Costa Rica further invokes as a basis for the Court’s jurisdiction Article XXXI of the American Treaty on Pacific Settlement adopted at Bogota on 30 April 1948 (hereinafter the "Pact of Bogota").
3.
In accordance with Article 40, paragraph 2, of the Statute, the Registrar communicated a signed copy of the Application forthwith to the Government of Nicaragua; and, under paragraph 3 of that Article, all States entitled to appear before the Court were notified of the filing of the Application.
4.
Pursuant to the instructions of the Court under Article 43 of its Rules, the Registrar addressed to States parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 (hereinafter "UNCLOS") the notifications provided for in Article 63, paragraph 1, of the Statute. The Registrar also addressed the notification provided for in Article 43, paragraph 2, of the Rules of Court to the European Union, which is also party to the said Convention, asking whether it intended to submit any observations under that provision.
5.
Since the Court included upon the Bench no judge of the nationality of either Party, each of them availed itself of its right under Article 31, paragraph 3, of the Statute to choose a judge ad hoc in the case. Costa Rica chose Mr. Bruno Simma and Nicaragua chose Mr. Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh.
6.
By an order dated 1 April 2014, the Court fixed 3 February 2015 and 8 December 2015 as the respective time-limits for the filing of a Memorial by Costa Rica and a Counter-Memorial by Nicaragua. The Memorial and the Counter-Memorial were filed within the time-limits thus fixed.
7.
By letter dated 3 February 2015 and received in the Registry on 5 February 2015, the Government of the Republic of Colombia, referring to Article 53, paragraph 1, of the Rules of Court, made a request to be furnished with copies of the pleadings and documents annexed in the case. After consulting the Parties in accordance with that same provision, the President of the Court decided to grant that request. By letters dated 30 March 2015, the Registrar duly communicated that decision to the Government of Colombia and to the Parties.

By letter dated 5 August 2015, received in the Registry on 7 August 2015, the Government of the Republic of Panama, referring to Article 53, paragraph 1, of the Rules of Court, in turn made a request to be furnished with copies of the pleadings and documents annexed in the case. After consulting the Parties in accordance with that same provision, the President of the Court decided to grant that request. By letters dated 26 August 2015, the Registrar duly communicated that decision to the Government of Panama and to the Parties.

8.
At a meeting held by the President with the representatives of the Parties on 28 January 2016, the Parties agreed that it was not necessary to file a Reply and a Rejoinder.
9.
By letters dated 26 February 2016, the Registrar informed the Parties that the Court, in accordance with Article 54, paragraph 1, of the Rules of Court, had fixed 5 December 2016 as the date for the opening of the oral proceedings in the case.
10.
By letters dated 13 April 2016, the Registrar informed the Parties, pursuant to Article 67, paragraph 1, of the Rules of Court, that the Court was considering arranging for an expert opinion entrusted to one or several experts. The experts would be asked to collect, by conducting a site visit, all the factual elements capable of allowing for the determination of the starting-point of the maritime boundary between the Parties in the Caribbean Sea, in particular elements relating to the state of the coast between the point located on the right bank of the San Juan River at its mouth and the land point closest to Punta de Castilla, as those two points could be identified at the time of that visit. The Parties were further informed that the Court had fixed 3 May 2016 as the time-limit within which they might present their positions with respect to any such appointment, in particular their views on the subject of the expert opinion, the number and mode of appointment of the experts, and the procedure to be followed. They were also advised that any comments that either Party might wish to make on the reply of the other Party should be furnished by 13 May 2016 at the latest.
11.
By letter dated 3 May 2016, Costa Rica welcomed the exercise by the Court of its power to arrange for an expert opinion. It suggested that the Court consider appointing a committee of three experts, composed of geographers who were independent of both Parties, and that the Parties should have the opportunity to make observations on the choice of these experts. Costa Rica proposed that a number of matters be covered in the terms of reference for the experts. It also expressed the wish that the Parties should have the opportunity to provide comments on the experts’ report in writing before the beginning of the oral proceedings, and that any comments that either Party might wish to make on the comments of the other Party should also be provided in writing in advance of the oral proceedings. Finally, Costa Rica made certain proposals regarding logistical matters.
12.
By letter of the same date, Nicaragua, for its part, stated that it considered that there was no need to carry out a site visit, asserting that, since the location of the starting-point of the land boundary on the Caribbean coast had been established by various instruments, the determination of the starting-point of the maritime boundary between the Parties was a technical and legal task that did not require a site visit. Nicaragua nonetheless added that if, having taken into account its position, the Court were to consider that a site visit was necessary, Nicaragua would be ready to express in due time its position with respect to the terms of reference for the expert(s) and their appointment, and to assist them to the fullest possible extent.
13.
By letters of 13 May 2016, each of the Parties reiterated its position.
14.
By Order dated 31 May 2016, the Court decided that an expert opinion would be arranged, in accordance with Articles 48 and 50 of its Statute, to inform the Court as to the state of the coast between the point suggested by Costa Rica and the point suggested by Nicaragua in their pleadings as the starting-point of the maritime boundary in the Caribbean Sea. The Order stated, inter alia, that the expert opinion would be entrusted to two independent experts appointed by Order of the President of the Court after hearing the Parties, and that these experts would make the following declaration:

"I solemnly declare, upon my honour and conscience, that I will perform my duties as expert honourably and faithfully, impartially and conscientiously, and will refrain from divulging or using, outside the Court, any documents or information of a confidential character which may come to my knowledge in the course of the performance of my task."

15.
By letters dated 2 June 2016, the Registrar informed the Parties of the Court’s decision. He also indicated that the Court had identified two potential experts to prepare the expert opinion it had decided to obtain, namely Mr. Eric Fouache and Mr. Francisco Gutierrez, whose curricula vitae were enclosed with the said letters. The Parties were invited to communicate to the Court any observations they might have on the two experts by 10 June 2016, at the latest.
16.
By letter dated 10 June 2016, Costa Rica stated that it had no objection to the experts selected by the Court and that it stood ready to provide any necessary assistance to the expert mission; by letter of the same date, Nicaragua, without submitting any specific observations on the two experts, expressed its full readiness to assist the Court with the organization of the mission.
17.
By an order dated 16 June 2016, the President of the Court appointed the following two experts: Mr. Eric Fouache, of French nationality, Professor of Geography, Vice-Chancellor of Paris-Sorbonne university Abu Dhabi (united Arab Emirates), senior member of the institut universitaire de France and President of the international Association of Geomorphologists; and Mr. Francisco Gutierrez, of Spanish nationality, Professor of Geology and Geomorphology at the university of Zaragoza (Spain), former member of the Executive Committee of the international Association of Geomorphologists. The experts subsequently made the solemn declaration provided for in the order of 31 May 2016 (see paragraph 14 above).
18.
The experts informed the Court that, in their view, it would be necessary to conduct two site visits, one in early December (rainy period with high discharge of the San Juan River) and the other in March or early April (drier period with low discharge of the San Juan River). Consequently, the Court decided to postpone the opening of the oral proceedings until 12 June 2017. The Parties were informed of this decision by letters from the Registrar dated 1 July 2016.
19.
Between July and November 2016, several exchanges of correspondence took place between the experts, the Registrar and the Parties concerning the organization of the site visits. in addition, on 1 September 2016, the Registrar met with the representatives of the Parties to discuss the practical aspects of the visits. By letters dated 20 october 2016, the Parties communicated to the Court several documents requested by the experts (photographs, satellite images, maps, etc.); these documents were transmitted to them forthwith.
20.
By letter dated 28 November 2016, Costa Rica requested the postponement of the experts' first site visit, which had been scheduled to take place from 4 to 9 December 2016, in light of the damage caused by Hurricane otto, which shortly beforehand had hit the region to be inspected. By letter dated 29 November 2016, Nicaragua indicated its preference for the mission to proceed as planned. By letter dated 30 November 2016, Costa Rica reiterated its request, while setting out the arrangements that could be provided if the Court were to decide to maintain the dates of the visit scheduled for early December. The experts were consulted and they expressed their reluctance to postpone the mission, explaining in particular that visiting at that time would allow them to have a better grasp of the impact of high-magnitude hydrological events on the configuration of the coast and the San Juan River. The President of the Court having considered the matter, it was decided to maintain the dates of the site visit as planned.
21.
The experts' first site visit accordingly took place from 4 to 9 December 2016. The experts were accompanied by two staff members of the Registry who constituted the secretariat of the mission, and by a delegation from each Party. During the visit, the Parties exchanged documents, photographs and video recordings and provided them to the experts. They subsequently indicated that they considered that such new materials exchanged during the visits should be included in the case file, unless otherwise stated.
22.
on 16 January 2017, Costa Rica instituted proceedings against Nicaragua in a dispute concerning "the precise location of the land boundary separating the Los Portillos/Harbor Head Lagoon sandbar from isla Portillos" and "the... establishment of a military camp by Nicaragua on the beach of isla Portillos" (hereinafter "the case concerning the Northern Part of Isla Portillos").

Costa Rica seeks to found the jurisdiction of the Court on the aforementioned declarations (see paragraph 2 above) and on Article XXXI of the Pact of Bogota.

23.
In its Application, Costa Rica requested that the Court join the new proceedings with the proceedings in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation, pursuant to Article 47 of the Rules of Court.
24.
In accordance with Article 40, paragraph 2, of the Statute, the Registrar communicated a signed copy of the said Application forthwith to the Government of Nicaragua; under paragraph 3 of that Article, all States entitled to appear before the Court were notified of the filing of the Application.
25.
Since the Court included upon the Bench no judge of the nationality of either Party, each of them availed itself of its right under Article 31, paragraph 3, of the Statute to choose a judge ad hoc in the case concerning the Northern Part of Isla Portillos. Costa Rica chose Mr. Bruno Simma and Nicaragua chose Mr. Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh.
26.
On 25 January 2017, the Registrar held a meeting with the representatives of Costa Rica and Nicaragua in connection with the case concerning Maritime Delimitation to discuss arrangements for the second site visit. During that meeting, it was decided that the said visit would take place from 12 to 17 March 2017.
27.
On 26 January 2017, the President held a meeting with the representatives of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, who were invited to convey the views of their Governments on the question of the time-limits for the filing of pleadings in the case concerning the Northern Part of Isla Portillos and on whether it would be appropriate to join the proceedings in that case with those in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation.
28.
By Order dated 2 February 2017, the Court fixed 2 March 2017 and 18 April 2017 as the respective time-limits for the filing of a Memorial by Costa Rica and a Counter-Memorial by Nicaragua in the case concerning the Northern Part of Isla Portillos. The Memorial and the Counter-Memorial were filed within the time-limits thus prescribed.
29.
By its Order dated 2 February 2017, the Court also decided to join the proceedings in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation and the case concerning the Northern Part of Isla Portillos.
30.
By letters dated 3 February 2017, the Registrar informed the Parties that the Court had decided that the hearings in the joined cases would open on 3 July 2017.
31.
The experts' second site visit took place from 12 to 17 March 2017. The experts were once again accompanied by two staff members of the Registry and a delegation from each Party. During the visit, the Parties exchanged documents, photographs and video recordings and provided them to the experts.
32.
By letter dated 1 May 2017, the Registrar communicated to the Parties copies of the report filed by the experts appointed in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation. Each of the Parties was given until 1 June 2017 to submit any written observations that they might wish to make on the said report.
33.
on 16 May 2017, the President held a meeting with the representatives of the Parties to discuss the organization of the oral proceedings in the joined cases; the Parties agreed that they did not consider it necessary to put any questions to the experts at the hearings. By letters dated 29 May 2017, the Registrar informed the Parties of the schedule for the oral proceedings, as adopted by the Court.
34.
under cover of a letter dated 1 June 2017, Costa Rica communicated to the Court the written observations of its Government on the experts' report. By letter of the same date, Nicaragua indicated that it had no written observations to make at that stage. Costa Rica's observations were communicated to the experts, who responded in writing on 8 June 2017; that response was transmitted to the Parties forthwith.
35.
By letters dated 12 June 2017, the Registrar communicated to the experts the text of a question from a Member of the Court, and notified the Parties of that question. The experts replied on 15 June 2017; their reply was transmitted to the Parties.
36.
By letters dated 28 June 2017, the Registrar communicated to the Parties the text of a question from the Court addressed to them both. The Parties were invited to present their responses during the first round of oral argument.
37.
in accordance with Article 53, paragraph 2, of its Rules, the Court decided, after consulting the Parties, that copies of the pleadings and documents annexed, as well as the experts' report and certain related documents, would be made accessible to the public on the opening of the oral proceedings.
38.
Public hearings were held from Monday 3 July to Thursday 13 July 2017 in the joined proceedings. The Court heard the oral arguments and replies of:

For Costa Rica: H.E. Mr. Edgar Ugalde Alvarez,

H.E. Mr. Sergio Ugalde,

Ms Kate Parlett,

Mr. Samuel Wordsworth,

Mr. Marcelo Kohen,

Ms Katherine Del Mar,

Mr. Arnoldo Brenes,

Mr. Coalter Lathrop.

For Nicaragua: H.E. Mr. Carlos Jose Arguello Gomez,

Mr. Alex Oude Elferink,

Mr. Antonio Remiro Brotons,

Mr. Vaughan Lowe,

Mr. Paul Reichler,

Mr. Benjamin Samson,

Mr. Lawrence H. Martin.

39.
In its Application in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation, Costa Rica made the following requests:

"Accordingly, the Court is asked to determine the complete course of a single maritime boundary between all the maritime areas appertaining, respectively, to Costa Rica and to Nicaragua in the Caribbean Sea and in the Pacific Ocean, on the basis of international law.

Costa Rica further requests the Court to determine the precise geographical co-ordinates of the single maritime boundaries in the Caribbean Sea and in the Pacific Ocean."

40.
In the course of the written proceedings in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation, the following submissions were presented by the Parties:

On behalf of the Government of Costa Rica,

in the Memorial:

"Costa Rica respectfully requests the Court to determine the complete course of single maritime boundaries between all the maritime areas appertaining, respectively, to Costa Rica and to Nicaragua in the Pacific Ocean and in the Caribbean Sea, on the basis of international law.

Costa Rica further requests the Court to determine the precise geographical co-ordinates of the single maritime boundaries in the Pacific Ocean and in the Caribbean Sea, as follows:

1. to delimit the maritime areas of Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the Pacific Ocean by a boundary connecting with geodetic lines the points with the following co-ordinates:

Point number SP-P (Starting-Point - Pacific) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 (intersection with 200-M limit)Latitude north (DMS) (WGS 84) 11° 04' 00.0" 11° 03' 57.6" 11° 03' 57.7" 11° 03' 47.2" 11° 03' 53.8" 11° 03' 24.2" 11° 03' 17.9" 11° 02' 45.0" 11° 03' 11.6" 11° 04' 26.8" 11° 05' 13.7" 11° 05' 51.6" 11° 05' 54.2" 11° 06' 22.0" 11° 05' 45.4" 11° 05' 43.7" 11° 05' 30.9" 11° 04' 22.2" 11° 03' 32.6" 10° 56' 56.3" 10° 54' 22.7" 10° 36' 50.6" 10° 21' 23.2" 09° 43' 05.7"Longitude west (DMS) (WGS 84) 85° 44' 28.0" 85° 45' 30.3" 85° 45' 35.9" 85° 46' 31.7" 85° 47' 13.4" 85° 49' 43.5" 85° 50' 05.1" 85° 51' 25.2" 85° 52' 42.8" 85° 55' 28.3" 85° 57' 21.2" 86° 00' 48.1" 86° 04' 31.5" 86° 07' 00.4" 86° 13' 10.2" 86° 13' 28.7" 86° 15' 09.8" 86° 21' 43.8" 86° 25' 21.2" 86° 44' 27.0" 86° 49' 39.5" 87° 22' 47.6" 87° 47' 15.3" 89° 11' 23.5"

2. to delimit the maritime areas of Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the Caribbean Sea by a boundary connecting with geodetic lines the points with the following co-ordinates:

Point number SP-C (Starting-Point - Caribbean) 1 2Latitude north (DMS) (WGS 84) 10° 56' 26.0" 10° 56' 54.0" 10° 57' 16.6"Longitude west (DMS) (WGS 84) 83° 41' 53.0" 83° 42' 03.7" 83° 41' 58.4"

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 (intersection with Costa Rica 200-M limit) 11° 02' 12.6" 11° 02' 54.7" 11° 03' 04.8" 11° 03' 46.1" 11° 03' 47.4" 11° 05' 35.2" 11° 07' 47.2" 11° 10' 16.0" 11° 10' 39.2" 11° 13' 42.6" 11° 15' 02.0" 12° 19' 15.9" 83° 40' 27.1" 83° 40' 01.0" 83° 39' 54.1" 83° 39' 29.6" 83° 39' 28.7" 83° 38' 14.0" 83° 36' 33.2" 83° 34' 13.2" 83° 33' 47.3" 83° 30' 33.9" 83° 28' 53.6" 80° 33' 59.2""

On behalf of the Government of Nicaragua,

in the Counter-Memorial:

"For the reasons given in the present Counter-Memorial, the Republic of

Nicaragua requests the Court to adjudge and declare that:

1. In the Pacific Ocean, the maritime boundary between the Republic of Nicaragua and the Republic of Costa Rica starts at a point with co-ordinates 11° 03' 56.3" N, 85° 44' 28.3" W and follows geodetic lines connecting the points with co-ordinates:

Points P-1 P-2 P-3 P-4 P-5 P-6 P-7 P-8 (12 NM) P-9 P-10 P-11 P-12 P-13 (200 NM)Latitude 11° 03' 57.6" N 11° 03' 57.8" N 11° 03' 47.6" N 11° 03' 54" N 11° 03' 25" N 11° 03' 17.7" N 11° 02' 44.8" N 10° 54' 51.7" N 10° 50' 59.1" N 10° 41' 24.4" N 10° 19' 28.3" N 9° 53' 09.0" N 9° 16' 27.5" NLongitude 85° 45' 27.0" W 85° 45' 36.8" W 85° 46' 34.0" W 85° 47' 13.2" W 85° 49' 42.4" W 85° 50' 06.3" W 85° 51' 25.2" W 86° 10' 14.6" W 86° 21' 37.6" W 86° 38' 0.8" W 87° 11' 0.7" W 87° 47' 48.8" W 88° 46' 10.9" W

2. In the Caribbean Sea, the maritime boundary between the Republic of Nicaragua and the Republic of Costa Rica starts at a point with co-ordinates 10° 55' 49.7" N and 83° 40' 0.6" W and follow[s] geodetic lines connecting the points with co-ordinates:

PointsLatitudeLongitude
C-1 10° 59' 21.3" N 83° 31' 6.9" W
C-1a (12 NM) 11° 00' 18.9" N 83° 27' 38.0" W
C-2 11° 01' 9.9" N 83° 24' 26.9" W
C-3 11° 05' 33.7" N 83° 03' 59.2" W
C-4 11° 11' 08.4" N 82° 34' 41.8" W
C-5 11° 05' 0.7" N 82° 18' 52.3" W
C-6 11° 05' 05.2" N 82° 14' 0.0" W
C-7 10° 49' 0.0" N 82° 14' 0.0" W
C-8 10° 49' 0.0" N 81° 26' 8.2" W

(All co-ordinates are referred to WGS 84 datum.)"

41.
At the oral proceedings in the joined cases, the following submissions were presented b the Parties with respect to the case concerning Maritime Delimitation :

On behalf of the Government of Costa Rica,

at the hearing of 10 July 2017:

"Costa Rica respectfully requests the Court, rejecting all submissions made by Nicaragua:

1. To determine, on the basis of international law, the complete course of single maritime boundaries between all the maritime areas appertaining, respectively, to Costa Rica and to Nicaragua in the Pacific Ocean and in the Caribbean Sea.

2. To determine the precise geographical co-ordinates of the single maritime boundaries in the Pacific Ocean and in the Caribbean Sea, and in particular:

(a) to delimit the maritime areas of Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the Pacific Ocean by a boundary connecting with geodetic lines the points with the following co-ordinates:

Point number SP-P (Starting-Point - Pacific) 1 2Latitude (DMS) (WGS 84) 11° 04' 00.0" N 11° 03' 57.6" N 11° 03' 57.7" NLongitude (DMS) (WGS 84) 85° 44' 28.0" W 85° 45' 30.3" W 85° 45' 35.9" W

Point number 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 (intersection with 200-M limit)Latitude (DMS) (WGS 84) 11° 03' 47.2" N 11° 03' 53.8" N 11° 03' 24.2" N 11° 03' 17.9" N 11° 02' 45.0" N 11° 03' 11.6" N 11° 04' 26.8" N 11° 05' 13.7" N 11° 05' 51.6" N 11° 05' 54.2" N 11° 06' 22.0" N 11° 05' 45.4" N 11° 05' 43.7" N 11° 05' 30.9" N 11° 04' 22.2" N 11° 03' 32.6" N 10° 56' 56.3" N 10° 54' 22.7" N 10° 36' 50.6" N 10° 21' 23.2" N 09° 43' 05.7" NLongitude (DMS)(WGS 84) 85° 46' 31.7" W 85° 47' 13.4" W 85° 49' 43.5" W 85° 50' 05.1" W 85° 51' 25.2" W 85° 52' 42.8" W 85° 55' 28.3" W 85° 57' 21.2" W 86° 00' 48.1" W 86° 04' 31.5" W 86° 07' 00.4" W 86° 13' 10.2" W 86° 13' 28.7" W 86° 15' 09.8" W 86° 21' 43.8" W 86° 25' 21.2" W 86° 44' 27.0" W 86° 49' 39.5" W 87° 22' 47.6" W 87° 47' 15.3" W 89° 11' 23.5" W

(b) to delimit the maritime areas of Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the Caribbean Sea by a boundary connecting with geodetic lines the points with the following co-ordinates:

Point number SP-C (Starting-Point -Caribbean) 1 2 3Latitude (DMS)(WGS 84) 10° 56' 22.1" N 10° 56' 54.0" N 10° 57' 16.6" N 11° 02' 12.6" NLongitude (DMS) (WGS 84) 83° 41' 51.4" W 83° 42' 03.7" W 83° 41' 58.4" W 83° 40' 27.1" W

Point number 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 (intersection with Costa Rica's 200-M limit)Latitude (DMS)(WGS 84) 11° 02' 54.7" N 11° 03' 04.8" N 11° 03' 46.1" N 11° 03' 47.4" N 11° 05' 35.2" N 11° 07' 47.2" N 11° 10' 16.0" N 11° 10' 39.2" N 11° 13' 42.6" N 11° 15' 02.0" N 12° 19' 15.9" NLongitude (DMS) (WGS 84) 83° 40' 01.0" W 83° 39' 54.1" W 83° 39' 29.6" W 83° 39' 28.7" W 83° 38' 14.0" W 83° 36' 33.2" W 83° 34' 13.2" W 83° 33' 47.3" W 83° 30' 33.9" W 83° 28' 53.6" W 80° 33' 59.2" W

(c) as a subsidiary submission to paragraph (b) above, to delimit the maritime areas of Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the Caribbean Sea by a boundary:

(i) connecting, using a geodetic line, the point 3 nautical miles from the Parties' respective coasts (Point FP1, having co-ordinates 10° 59' 22.7" N, 83° 41' 19.0" W), with Point 3 in paragraph (b) above;

(ii) thereafter, connecting, with geodetic lines Points 3 to 14 in paragraph (b) above;

(iii) in the initial sector, connecting, using a geodetic line, Point FP1 and the point constituting the low-water mark on the right bank of the San Juan River at its mouth, as it may exist from time to time."

On behalf of the Government of Nicaragua,

at the hearing of 13 July 2017:

"Nicaragua respectfully requests from the Court to:

1. Dismiss and reject the requests and submissions of the Republic of Costa Rica.

2. Determine, on the basis of international law, the complete course of the maritime boundaries between all the maritime areas appertaining, respectively, to Nicaragua and Costa Rica in the Pacific Ocean and in the Caribbean Sea:

(a) In the Pacific Ocean, the maritime boundary between the Republic of Nicaragua and the Republic of Costa Rica starts at a point with co-ordinates 11° 03' 56.3" N, 85° 44' 28.3" W and follows geodetic lines connecting the points with co-ordinates:

PointsLatitudeLongitude
P-1 11° 03' 57.6" N 85° 45' 27.0" W
P-2 11° 03' 57.8" N 85° 45' 36.8" W
P-3 11° 03' 47.6" N 85° 46' 34.0" W
P-4 11° 03' 54" N 85° 47' 13.2" W
P-5 11° 03' 25" N 85° 49' 42.4" W
P-6 11° 03' 17.7" N 85° 50' 06.3" W
P-7 11° 02' 44.8" N 85° 51' 25.2" W
P-8 (12 NM) 10° 54' 51.7" N 86° 10' 14.6" W
P-9 10° 50' 59.1" N 86° 21' 37.6" W
P-10 10° 41' 24.4" N 86° 38' 0.8" W
P-11 10° 19' 28.3" N 87° 11' 0.7" W
P-12 9° 53' 9.0" N 87° 47' 48.8" W
P-13 (200 NM) 9° 16' 27.5" N 88° 46' 10.9" W

(b) In the Caribbean Sea, the maritime boundary between the Republic of Nicaragua and the Republic of Costa Rica starts at Point CA with co-ordinates 10° 56' 18,898" N, 83° 39' 52,536" W and follows geodetic lines connecting the points with co-ordinates:

Points C-1 C-1a (12 NM) C-2 C-3 C-4 C-5 C-6 C-7 C-8Latitude 10° 59' 21.3" N 11° 00' 18.9" N 11° 01' 9.9" N 11° 05' 33.7" N 11° 11' 8.4" N 11° 05' 0.7" N 11° 05' 5.2" N 10° 49' 0.0" N 10° 49' 0.0" NLongitude 83° 31' 6.9" W 83° 27' 38.0" W 83° 24' 26.9" W 83° 03' 59.2" W 82° 34' 41.8" W 82° 18' 52.3" W 82° 14' 0.0" W 82° 14' 0.0" W 81° 26' 8.2" W

The maritime boundary between Point CA and the land is a geodetic line connecting Point CA and the eastern headland of Harbor Head Lagoon (presently located at [the] Court experts' Point Ple).

(All co-ordinates are referred to WGS 84 datum.)"

42.
In its Application filed in the case concerning the Northern Part of Isla Portillos, Costa Rica made the following requests:

"Accordingly, the Court is asked:

(a) To determine the precise location of the land boundary separating both ends of the Los Portillos/Harbor Head Lagoon sandbar from Isla Portillos, and in doing so to determine that the only Nicaraguan territory existing today in the area of Isla Portillos is limited to the enclave consisting of Los Portillos/Harbor Head Lagoon and the sandbar separating the Lagoon from the Caribbean Sea, insofar as this sandbar remains above water at all times and thus this enclave is capable of constituting territory appertaining to a State. Consequently, that the land boundary runs today from the northeastern corner of the Lagoon by the shortest line to the Caribbean Sea and from the northwestern corner of the Lagoon by the shortest line to the Caribbean Sea.

(b) To adjudge and declare that, by establishing and maintaining a new military camp on the beach of Isla Portillos, Nicaragua has violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Costa Rica, and is in breach of the Judgment of the Court of 16 December 2015 in the Certain Activities case. Consequently, Costa Rica further requests the Court to declare that Nicaragua must withdraw its military camp situated in Costa Rican territory and fully comply with the Court's 2015 Judgment.

Costa Rica reserves it[s] rights to seek any further remedies with respect to any damage that Nicaragua has or may cause to its territory."

43.
In the course of the written proceedings in the case concerning the Northern Part of Isla Portillos, the following submissions were presented by the Parties:

On behalf of the Government of Costa Rica,

in the Memorial:

"Costa Rica respectfully requests the Court:

(a) To determine the precise location of the land boundary separating both ends of the Los Portillos/Harbor Head Lagoon sandbar from Isla Portillos, and in doing so to determine that the only Nicaraguan territory existing today in the area of Isla Portillos is limited to the enclave consisting of Los Portillos/Harbor Head Lagoon and the sandbar separating the Lagoon from the Caribbean Sea, insofar as this sandbar remains above water at all times and thus this enclave is capable of constituting territory appertaining to a State. Consequently, that the land boundary runs today from the northeastern corner of the Lagoon by the shortest line to the Caribbean Sea and from the northwestern corner of the Lagoon by the shortest line to the Caribbean Sea.

(b) To adjudge and declare that, by establishing and maintaining a new military camp on the beach of Isla Portillos, Nicaragua has violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Costa Rica, and is in breach of the Judgment of the Court of 16 December 2015 in the Certain Activities case. Consequently, Costa Rica further requests the Court to declare that Nicaragua must withdraw its military camp situated in Costa Rican territory and fully comply with the Court's 2015 Judgment.

Costa Rica reserves it[s] rights to seek any further remedies with respect to any damage that Nicaragua has or may cause to its territory."

On behalf of the Government of Nicaragua,

in the Counter-Memorial:

"For the reasons exposed in the present Counter-Memorial, the Republic of

Nicaragua respectfully requests the Court to adjudge and declare that:

1. the stretch of coast abutting the Caribbean Sea which lies between the Harbor Head Lagoon and the mouth of the San Juan River constitutes Nicaraguan territory;

2. the military camp set up by Nicaragua is located on Nicaraguan territory and consequently;

3. the requests and submissions of the Republic of Costa Rica are rejected in their entirety."

44.
At the oral proceedings in the joined cases, the following submissions were presented by the Parties with respect to the case concerning the Northern Part of Isla Portillos :

On behalf of the Government of Costa Rica,

at the hearing of 10 July 2017:

"Costa Rica respectfully requests the Court:

1. (a) to adjudge and declare that Nicaragua's submission that the stretch of coast abutting the Caribbean Sea which lies between the Harbor Head Lagoon and the mouth of the San Juan River constitutes Nicaraguan territory is inadmissible, on the basis that the issue has already been settled by the Judgment of the Court dated 16 December 2015 in the Certain Activities case;

(b) to reject all other submissions made by Nicaragua;

2. (a) to determine the precise location of the land boundary separating both ends of the Los Portillos/Harbor Head Lagoon sandbar from Isla Portillos, and in doing so to determine that the only Nicaraguan territory existing today in the area of Isla Portillos is limited to the enclave consisting of Los Portillos/Harbor Head Lagoon and the sandbar separating the lagoon from the Caribbean Sea, insofar as this sandbar remains above water at all times and thus this enclave is capable of constituting territory appertaining to a State. Consequently, that the land boundary runs today from the northeastern corner of the lagoon by the shortest line to the Caribbean Sea and from the northwestern corner of the lagoon by the shortest line to the Caribbean Sea;

(b) to adjudge and declare that, by establishing and maintaining a new military camp on the beach of Isla Portillos, Nicaragua has violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Costa Rica, and is in breach of the Judgment of the Court of 16 December 2015 in the Certain Activities case. Consequently, Costa Rica further requests the Court to declare that Nicaragua must withdraw its military camp situated in Costa Rican territory and fully comply with the Court's 2015 Judgment."

On behalf of the Government of Nicaragua,

at the hearing of 13 July 2017:

"Nicaragua respectfully requests from the Court to:

Adjudge and declare that:

(a) the stretch of coast abutting the Caribbean Sea which lies between the Harbor Head Lagoon and the mouth of the San Juan River constitutes Nicaraguan territory;

(b) the military camp set up by Nicaragua is located on Nicaraguan territory and consequently;

(c) the requests and submissions of the Republic of Costa Rica are rejected in their entirety."

I. JURISDICTION OF THE COURT

45.
In both of the cases under consideration, Costa Rica invokes, as bases of jurisdiction, the declarations by which Costa Rica and Nicaragua have recognized the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court under paragraphs 2 and 5, respectively, of Article 36 of the Statute, as well as Article XXXI of the Pact of Bogota (see paragraphs 2 and 22 above). Nicaragua does not contest the Court's jurisdiction to entertain Costa Rica's claims.
46.
The Court finds that it has jurisdiction over the disputes in the joined cases.

II. GENERAL BACKGROUND

A. Geography

47.
Costa Rica and Nicaragua are situated in Central America, sharing a land boundary that spans the Central American isthmus from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Nicaragua lies to the north of that boundary and Costa Rica to the south. Nicaragua has a border with Honduras in the north, while Costa Rica shares a border with Panama in the south.
48.
Isla Portillos, the northern part of which is the subject of the land boundary dispute, is an area (approximately 17 sq km) bounded to the west by the San Juan River and to the north by the Caribbean Sea. At the north-western extremity of Isla Portillos, a sandspit of variable length deflects the final course of the San Juan River, displacing its mouth towards the west. On the coast of Isla Portillos, approximately 3.6 km east of the mouth of the San Juan River, is a lagoon called Laguna Los Portillos by Costa Rica and Harbor Head Lagoon by Nicaragua. This lagoon is at present separated from the Caribbean Sea by a sandbar.
49.
The Caribbean Sea lies in the western part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is partially enclosed to the north and east by the Caribbean islands, and bounded to the south and west by South and Central America, respectively. In the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Nicaragua there are several islands and cays, the most prominent of which are the Corn Islands, located approximately 26 nautical miles off its coast, and having an area, respectively, of 9.6 sq km (Great Corn Island) and 3 sq km (Little Corn Island). The Corn Islands have a population of approximately 7,400 inhabitants. Other small features lying off the Nicaraguan coast include Paxaro Bovo, the Palmenta Cays, Cayos de Perlas, Tyra Rock, Man of War Cays, Ned Thomas Cay, Miskitos Cays, Muerto Cay and Edinburgh Reef. Costa Rica has two small islands, Isla Pajaros and Isla Uvita, less than half a nautical mile off its coast near the city of Limon.
50.
On the Pacific side, the coast of Nicaragua is relatively straight and generally follows a north-west to south-east direction. The Costa Rican coast is more sinuous and includes the peninsulas of Santa Elena (near the land boundary terminus), Nicoya and Osa.

B. Historical context

51.
As the Court noted in its Judgment of 16 December 2015 in the case concerning Certain Activities Carried Out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) (I.C.J. Reports 2015 (II), p. 665, hereinafter the "2015 Judgment" in the "Certain Activities case"), the present disputes between the Parties are set within a historical context dating back to the 1850s. Following hostilities between the two States in 1857, the Governments of Costa Rica and Nicaragua signed, on 15 April 1858, a Treaty of Limits, which was ratified by Costa Rica on April 16th,1858 and by Nicaragua on 26 April 1858 (Consolidated Treaty Series, Vol. 118, p. 439, hereinafter the "1858 Treaty"). The 1858 Treaty fixed the course of the land boundary between Costa Rica and Nicaragua from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea. According to Article II of the Treaty, part of the boundary between the two States runs along the right (Costa Rican) bank of the San Juan River from a point three English miles below Castillo Viejo, a small town in Nicaragua, to "the end of Punta de Castilla, at the mouth of the San Juan" on the Caribbean coast.
52.
Following challenges by Nicaragua on various occasions to the validity of the 1858 Treaty, Costa Rica and Nicaragua signed another instrument on 24 December 1886, whereby the two States agreed to submit the question of the validity of the 1858 Treaty to the President of the United States of America, Grover Cleveland, for arbitration. In addition, the Parties agreed that, if the 1858 Treaty were found to be valid, President Cleveland should also decide "upon all the other points of doubtful interpretation which either of the parties may find in the treaty". On 22 June 1887, Nicaragua communicated to Costa Rica 11 points of doubtful interpretation, which were subsequently submitted to President Cleveland for resolution. The Cleveland Award of 1888 confirmed, in its paragraph 1, the validity of the 1858 Treaty and found, in its paragraph 3 (1), that the boundary line between the two States on the Atlantic side "begins at the extremity of Punta de Castilla at the mouth of the San Juan de Nicaragua River, as they both existed on the 15th day of April 1858".
53.
Subsequent to the Cleveland Award, the Parties agreed in the "Convention on border demarcation concluded between the Republic of Costa Rica and the Republic of Nicaragua", signed at San Salvador on 27 March 1896 (United Nations, Reports of International Arbitral Awards (RIAA), Vol. XXVIII, p. 211), to establish two national Demarcation Commissions, each composed of two members (Art. I). This Convention further provided that the Commissions would include an engineer, appointed by the President of the United States of America, who "shall have broad powers to decide whatever kind of differences may arise in the course of any operations and [whose] ruling shall be final" (Art. II). United States General Edward Porter Alexander was so appointed. During the demarcation process, which began in 1897 and was concluded in 1900, General Alexander rendered five Awards (ibid., pp. 215 and following for the first four Awards).
54.
In his First Award, dated 30 September 1897, General Alexander determined the starting segment of the land boundary near the Caribbean Sea in light of geomorphological changes that had occurred since 1858. That segment was defined as starting from "the northwestern extremity of what seems to be the solid land, on the east side of Harbor Head Lagoon" and then running "across the bank of sand, from the Caribbean Sea into the waters of Harbor Head Lagoon". From there, Alexander determined that the boundary would "follow the water's edge around the harbor until it reaches the river proper by the first channel met. Up this channel, and up the river proper, the line shall continue to ascend as directed in the treaty." (Ibid., p. 220). As the Court noted in the 2015 Judgment, "what the Arbitrator considered to be the 'first channel' was the branch of the Lower San Juan River which was then flowing into the Harbor Head Lagoon" (I.C.J. Reports 2015 (II), p. 699, para. 73). Following Alexander's First Award, the Demarcation Commissions recorded the co-ordinates of the starting-point of the land boundary determined by General Alexander by reference to the centre of Plaza Victoria in old San Juan de Nicaragua (Greytown) and other points on the ground.
55.
Since the time of the Alexander Awards and the work of the Demarcation Commissions, the northern part of Isla Portillos has continued to undergo significant geomorphological changes. In 2010, a dispute arose between Costa Rica and Nicaragua with regard to certain activities carried out by Nicaragua in that area. In its 2015 Judgment, the Court considered the impact of some of these changes on the issue of territorial sovereignty. The Court stated "that the territory under Costa Rica's sovereignty extends to the right bank of the Lower San Juan River as far as its mouth in the Caribbean Sea" (I.C.J. Reports 2015 (II), p. 703, para. 92). The Court thus concluded that Costa Rica had sovereignty over a 3 sq km area in the northern part of Isla Portillos, although noting in its description of this area that it did "not specifically refer to the stretch of coast abutting the Caribbean Sea which lies between the Harbor Head Lagoon, which lagoon both Parties agree is Nicaraguan, and the mouth of the San Juan River" (I.C.J. Reports 2015 (II), pp. 696-697, paras. 69-70; p. 740, para. 229 (1)). The course of the land boundary on this stretch of coast is one of the subjects of dispute between the Parties in the present joined cases.
56.
With respect to maritime areas, a bilateral Sub-Commission on Limits and Cartography was established by the two Parties in May 1997 to carry out preliminary technical studies regarding possible maritime delimitations in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. In 2002, the Vice-Ministers for Foreign Affairs of both countries instructed the bilateral Sub-Commission to begin negotiations. The Sub-Commission held five meetings between 2002 and 2005. Several technical meetings were also held between the Costa Rican National Geographic Institute and the Nicaraguan Institute for Territorial Studies during the same period. Following these initial meetings, negotiations on maritime delimitations between the two States stalled.

C. Delimitations already effected in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean

57.
In the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica concluded, on 2 February 1980, a treaty with Panama delimiting a maritime boundary; this treaty entered into force on 11 February 1982. Costa Rica negotiated and signed a maritime delimitation treaty with Colombia in 1977, but never ratified that instrument. Nicaragua's maritime boundaries with Honduras (to the north) and Colombia (to the east) have been established by Judgments of the Court in 2007 and 2012, respectively (Territorial and Maritime Dispute between Nicaragua and Honduras in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Honduras), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2007 (II), p. 659; Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2012 (II), p. 624). Colombia and Panama also concluded a maritime delimitation treaty establishing their boundary in the Caribbean Sea on 20 November 1976; this treaty entered into force on 30 November 1977 (United Nations, Treaty Series (UNTS), Vol. 1074, p. 221).
58.
The above-mentioned treaty concluded by Costa Rica and Panama in 1980 also delimited their maritime boundary in the Pacific Ocean. For its part, Nicaragua has not concluded any treaty establishing a maritime boundary in the Pacific Ocean.

III. LAND BOUNDARY IN THE NORTHERN PART OF ISLA PORTILLOS

A. Issues concerning territorial sovereignty

59.
The case concerning the Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos raises issues of territorial sovereignty which it is expedient to examine first, because of their possible implications for the maritime delimitation in the Caribbean Sea. The Parties express divergent views on the interpretation of the 2015 Judgment and advance opposing claims on certain questions relating to sovereignty over the coast of the northern part of Isla Portillos.
60.
In the operative part of the 2015 Judgment, the Court stated that "Costa Rica has sovereignty over the 'disputed territory', as defined by the Court in paragraphs 69-70 of the... Judgment". These paragraphs read as follows:

"69. Since it is uncontested that Nicaragua conducted certain activities in the disputed territory, it is necessary, in order to establish whether there was a breach of Costa Rica's territorial sovereignty, to determine which State has sovereignty over that territory. The 'disputed territory' was defined by the Court in its Order of 8 March 2011 on provisional measures as 'the northern part of Isla Portillos, that is to say, the area of wetland of some 3 square kilometres between the right bank of the disputed cano, the right bank of the San Juan River up to its mouth at the Caribbean Sea and the Harbor Head Lagoon' (I.C.J. Reports 2011 (I), p. 19, para. 55). The cano referred to is the one which was dredged by Nicaragua in 2010. Nicaragua did not contest this definition of the 'disputed territory', while Costa Rica expressly endorsed it in its final submissions (para. 2 (a)). The Court will maintain the definition of 'disputed territory' given in the 2011 Order. It recalls that its Order of 22 November 2013 indicating provisional measures specified that a Nicaraguan military encampment 'located on the beach and close to the line of vegetation' near one of the canos dredged in 2013 was 'situated in the disputed territory as defined by the Court in its Order of 8 March 2011'

(I.C.J. Reports 2013, p. 365, para. 46).

70. The above definition of the 'disputed territory' does not specifically refer to the stretch of coast abutting the Caribbean Sea which lies between the Harbor Head Lagoon, which lagoon both Parties agree is Nicaraguan, and the mouth of the San Juan River. In their oral arguments the Parties expressed different views on this issue. However, they did not address the question of the precise location of the mouth of the river nor did they provide detailed information concerning the coast. Neither Party requested the Court to define the boundary more precisely with regard to this coast. Accordingly, the Court will refrain from doing so." (Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2015 (II), pp. 696-697.)

61.
According to Costa Rica's reading of that Judgment, "the beach of Isla Portillos belongs to Costa Rica. This decision possesses the force of res judicata, as reflected in Articles 59 and 60 of the Court's Statute." Therefore, "[o]nly the precise location of the boundary at each end of the sandbar of Harbor Head Lagoon remains open." Costa Rica maintains that the purpose behind the first sentence of paragraph 70 of the 2015 Judgment was to leave open the question whether there was a maritime feature beyond the beach of Isla Portillos, and not to exclude that beach from the disputed territory. According to Costa Rica, "the beach of Isla Portillos was expressly included within the disputed territory" and was thus declared to be Costa Rican territory.
62.
In Costa Rica's view, the mainland boundary runs, consistent with Article II of the 1858 Treaty, along the right bank of the Lower San Juan River all the way to its mouth in the Caribbean Sea and the land boundary terminus is located on the right bank of the San Juan River at its mouth. According to Costa Rica, the only Nicaraguan territory in the area of Isla Portillos is the enclave of Los Portillos/Harbor Head Lagoon and the sandbar separating the Lagoon from the Caribbean Sea, "for so long as it is territory capable of appertaining to a State".
63.
Nicaragua argues that, in its 2015 Judgment, "the Court did not... determine the precise location of the boundary at any point between the northwestern end of Harbor Head Lagoon and the mouth of the San Juan River" (emphasis in the original). Nicaragua maintains that the Court in that Judgment refrained from defining the boundary with regard to the coast between the mouth of the San Juan River and Harbor Head Lagoon and "did not fix the limits of the 'territory in dispute'". Nicaragua contends that the Certain Activities case was one regarding State responsibility for wrongful acts and was not concerned with delimitation. According to Nicaragua, that case did not require the Court to take a position regarding sovereignty over the relevant stretch of coast or its precise limits. Therefore, in Nicaragua's view, sovereignty over the beach of Isla Portillos remains to be determined.
64.
In this respect, Nicaragua argues that the 1858 Treaty and the subsequent Cleveland and Alexander Awards indicate that the starting-point of the boundary is located at a fixed point at Punta de Castilla, and not at the mouth of the San Juan River. It emphasizes that President Cleveland fixed the starting-point of the land boundary "at the extremity of Punta de Castilla at the mouth of the San Juan de Nicaragua River, as they both existed on the 15th day of April 1858" (emphasis added by Nicaragua). According to Nicaragua, the Cleveland Award, which is still binding on the Parties, made clear that the starting-point was a "fixed unmovable point" the location of which would not shift following changes in the flow of the River (emphasis of Nicaragua). Nicaragua maintains that General Alexander's First Award went "to great lengths to find where Punta de Castilla was located, because that was the fixed starting point for the border".
65.
In its Counter-Memorial, Nicaragua argued that the channel of the San Juan River which flowed into Harbor Head Lagoon at the time of General Alexander's First Award, and was identified in the Award as marking the land boundary, still flows into the Lagoon. According to Nicaragua, the beach of Isla Portillos and the sandbar between Harbor Head Lagoon and the Caribbean Sea consist of the remnants of the barrier that used to separate the Lagoon from the Caribbean Sea so that they should be considered an independent feature separated from the mainland. In Nicaragua's view, the land boundary between the Parties runs as follows:

"the land boundary starts at the north-east corner of the sandbar separating Harbor Head Lagoon from the Caribbean Sea, cuts that sandbar and follows the water's edge around the lagoon until it meets the channel connecting Harbor Head Lagoon to the lower San Juan. The boundary then follows the contour of Isla Portillos up to the lower San Juan".

Consequently, it submits that the stretch of coast between Harbor Head Lagoon and the mouth of the San Juan River is under Nicaraguan sovereignty. Nicaragua argued in its oral pleadings that if the Court were to accept Costa Rica's position and decide that the coast is not under Nicaraguan sovereignty, "the whole structure carefully created by the 1858 Treaty and the Awards would be dismantled and the Nicaragua/Costa Rica border would have to be repeatedly under review".

66.
Nicaragua acknowledged at the hearings that the channel linking Harbor Head Lagoon to the San Juan River had "partially disappeared" in recent years. It maintained that the "rules governing the effects of accretion and erosion" do not apply to the present situation and that accordingly "the boundary should continue to be defined by the approximate location of the former channel, such that the boundary that now separates the beach from the wetland behind it corresponds to the line of vegetation".
67.
In its final submissions, Costa Rica specifically requests the Court

"to adjudge and declare that Nicaragua's submission that the stretch of coast abutting the Caribbean Sea which lies between Harbor Head Lagoon and the mouth of the San Juan River constitutes Nicaraguan territory is inadmissible, on the basis that the issue has already been settled by the Judgment of the Court dated 16 December 2015 in the Certain Activities case".

68.
The Court has previously had the occasion to emphasize that "the principle of res judicata, as reflected in Articles 59 and 60 of its Statute, is a general principle of law which protects, at the same time, the judicial function of a court or tribunal and the parties to a case which has led to a judgment that is final and without appeal" (Question of the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf between Nicaragua and Colombia beyond 200 Nautical Miles from the Nicaraguan Coast (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Preliminary Objections, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2016, p. 125, para. 58 and authorities cited therein). However, for res judicata to apply in a given case, the Court "must determine whether and to what extent the first claim has already been definitively settled" (ibid., p. 126, para. 59), for "[i]f a matter has not in fact been determined, expressly or by necessary implication, then no force of res judicata attaches to it" (ibid., para. 60, quoting Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2007 (I), p. 95, para. 126).
69.
The Court recalls that the operative part of its 2015 Judgment stated that "Costa Rica has sovereignty over the 'disputed territory', as defined... in paragraphs 69-70" of that Judgment (I.C.J. Reports 2015 (II), p. 740, para. 229). The term "disputed territory" was described in those paragraphs as including

"the northern part of Isla Portillos, that is to say, the area of wetland of some 3 square kilometres between the right bank of the disputed cano, the right bank of the San Juan River up to its mouth at the Caribbean Sea and the Harbor Head Lagoon" (ibid., p. 697, para. 69).

The Court noted, however, that

"[t]he above definition of the "disputed territory" does not specifically refer to the stretch of coast abutting the Caribbean Sea which lies between the Harbor Head Lagoon, which lagoon both Parties agree is Nicaraguan, and the mouth of the San Juan River" (ibid., para. 70).

The Court further noted that the Parties

"did not address the question of the precise location of the mouth of the river nor did they provide detailed information concerning the coast. Neither Party requested the Court to define the boundary more precisely with regard to this coast. Accordingly, the Court will refrain from doing so." (Ibid.)

These passages indicate that no decision was taken by the Court in its 2015 Judgment on the question of sovereignty concerning the coast of the northern part of Isla Portillos, since this question had been expressly excluded. This means that it is not possible for the issue of sovereignty over that part of the coast to be res judicata. Therefore, the Court cannot declare inadmissible Nicaragua's claim concerning sovereignty over that stretch of coast of Isla Portillos.

70.
In its 2015 Judgment, the Court interpreted the 1858 Treaty as providing that "the territory under Costa Rica's sovereignty extends to the right bank of the Lower San Juan River as far as its mouth in the Caribbean Sea" (I.C.J. Reports 2015 (II), p. 703, para. 92). However, the absence of "detailed information", which had been observed in the 2015 Judgment, had left the geographical situation of the area in question somewhat unclear with regard to the configuration of the coast of Isla Portillos, in particular regarding the existence of maritime features off the coast and the presence of a channel separating the wetland from the coast.
71.
The assessment made by the Court-appointed experts, which was not challenged by the Parties, dispels all uncertainty about the present configuration of the coast and the existence of a channel linking the San Juan River with Harbor Head Lagoon. The experts ascertained that "[o]ff the coastline, there are no features above water even at low tide" and that, west of Harbor Head Lagoon, "the coast is made up of a broad sandy beach with discontinuous and coast-parallel enclosed lagoons in the backshore", while "[i]n the westernmost portion, close to the mouth of the San Juan River, there are no lagoons with free-standing water in the backshore". Significantly, the experts observed that there is no longer any water channel connecting the San Juan River with Harbor Head Lagoon. Since there is no channel, there cannot be a boundary running along it. Nicaragua's contention that "the boundary should continue to be defined by the approximate location of the former channel" linking the river with Harbor Head Lagoon ignores the fact that the channel in question, as it existed at the time of the Alexander Awards, was running well north of the present beach and has been submerged by the sea, as the Court-appointed experts noted, explaining that "such... continuous channel has disappeared due to coastal recession". In light of these findings, the Court determines that Costa Rica has sovereignty over the whole of Isla Portillos up to where the river reaches the Caribbean Sea. It follows from the 2015 Judgment and from the foregoing that the starting-point of the land boundary is the point at which the right bank of the San Juan River reaches the low-water mark of the coast of the Caribbean Sea. That point is currently located at the end of the sandspit constituting the right bank of the San Juan River at its mouth.
72.
However, as stated in the 2015 Judgment, the Parties agree that Nicaragua has sovereignty over Harbor Head Lagoon (I.C.J. Reports 2015 (II), p. 697, para. 70). Costa Rica requests the Court to

"determine the precise location of the land boundary separating both ends of the Los Portillos/Harbor Head Lagoon sandbar from Isla Portillos, and in doing so to determine that the only Nicaraguan territory existing today in the area of Isla Portillos is limited to the enclave consisting of Los Portillos/Harbor Head Lagoon and the sandbar separating the Lagoon from the Caribbean Sea, insofar as this sandbar remains above water at all times and thus this enclave is capable of constituting territory appertaining to a State".

73.
According to the Court-appointed experts, "Los Portillos/Harbor Head Lagoon is commonly separated from the sea by [a] sand barrier", although there may be "temporary channels in the barrier". This assessment, which implies that the barrier is above water even at high tide, was not challenged by the Parties. The Court therefore considers that the Parties agree that both Harbor Head Lagoon and the sandbar separating it from the Caribbean Sea are under Nicaragua's sovereignty. According to the experts, the sandbar extends between the points at the edge of the north-eastern and north-western ends of the Lagoon. The current location of these points has been identified by the experts in their report as points Ple2 and Plw2 with respective co-ordinates of 10° 55' 47.23522" N, 83° 40' 03.02241" W and 10° 56' 01.38471" N, 83° 40' 24.12588" W in WGS 84 datum. The Court concludes that the sandbar extends between the points located at the north-eastern and north-western ends of the Lagoon, currently between points Ple2 and Plw2, respectively; from each of these two points, the land boundary should follow the shortest line across the sandbar to reach the low-water mark of the coast of the Caribbean Sea (see sketch-map No. 2 below).

B. Alleged violations of Costa Rica's sovereignty

74.
Costa Rica's Application includes the claim that, "by establishing and maintaining a new military camp on the beach of Isla Portillos, Nicaragua has violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Costa Rica, and is in breach of the Judgment of the Court of 16 December 2015 in the Certain Activities case". Costa Rica was referring to a military camp that was placed in August 2016 "to the northwest of the Lagoon's sandbar and installed on the beach of the northern part of Isla Portillos". Costa Rica requests the Court to declare that "Nicaragua must withdraw its military camp" and reserves its position with regard to further remedies.
75.
Nicaragua initially asserted that the camp was situated on the "sandbar that separates Harbor Head Lagoon from the Caribbean Sea". Later in its pleadings, Nicaragua did not contest that the camp was placed on the beach outside the limits of the sandbar separating the Lagoon from the Caribbean Sea, but argued that "the whole coast belongs to Nicaragua". In any case, Nicaragua contends that the Court has not yet issued any decision with the effect of res judicata concerning the beach where the camp was located.
76.
As an alternative argument, Nicaragua maintains that, even if the Court were to find that the entirety of the coast is under Costa Rican sovereignty, the camp was still positioned on a portion of the beach that belongs to Nicaragua, because of the presence of a channel of water running behind the camp and connecting to Harbor Head Lagoon.
77.
The Court notes that the experts have assessed that the edge of the north-western end of Harbor Head Lagoon lies east of the place where the military camp was located. The Court observes that it is now common ground that the military camp was placed by Nicaragua on the beach close to the sandbar, but not on it. The installation of the camp thus violated Costa Rica's territorial sovereignty as defined above. It follows that the camp must be removed from Costa Rica's territory. However, there was no breach by Nicaragua of the 2015 Judgment because, as has been observed above (see paragraph 69), the boundary with regard to the coast had not been defined in that Judgment.
78.
The Court considers that the declaration of a violation of Costa Rica's sovereignty and the order addressed to Nicaragua to remove its camp from Costa Rica's territory constitute appropriate reparation.

IV. MARITIME DELIMITATION IN THE CARIBBEAN SEA

79.
The Court has been requested to delimit the maritime boundaries between the Parties in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The Parties' respective claims relating to the Caribbean Sea are illustrated on sketch-map No. 3 below.

A. Starting-point of the maritime delimitation

80.
The divergent views of the Parties concerning the starting-point of the land boundary are reflected in their different approaches to defining the starting-point of the maritime delimitation in the Caribbean Sea. According to Costa Rica, the maritime delimitation "must start at the mouth of the San Juan River". However, given the instability of the coast and in particular of the features near the point where the San Juan River flows into the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica suggests that the starting-point of the maritime delimitation should be placed not at the western end of the sandspit at the mouth of the river, but on "the solid ground at the base of the spit of Isla Portillos". According to Costa Rica, this point coincides with the point that the Court-appointed experts called point Pv (see paragraph 104 below).
81.
Nicaragua maintains that, according to the 1858 Treaty and the Cleveland Award, the land boundary line "begins at the extremity of Punta de Castilla at the mouth of the San Juan de Nicaragua River, as they both existed on the 15th day of April 1858" and that this point should be used also for the maritime delimitation. Since General Alexander stated in his First Award that the point in question could "not now be certainly located" and that

"it best fulfil[led] the demands of the treaty and of President Cleveland's award to adopt what is practically the headland of to-day, or the northwestern extremity of what seems to be the solid land, on the east side of Harbor Head Lagoon" (RIAA, Vol. XXVIII, p. 220), Nicaragua argues that the point identified by General Alexander should be adopted as the starting-point for the maritime delimitation even if it has been submerged by the sea.

82.
In a communication to the Parties, the Court invited them to indicate in their oral pleadings their positions concerning the possibility of "starting the maritime boundary from a fixed point in the Caribbean Sea some distance from the coast".
83.
Costa Rica's primary position remains that the Court should select a starting-point on land. Costa Rica suggests as an alternative that the Court "connect any fixed point at sea [on the equidistance line] to the mouth of the San Juan River with a mobile line segment". This fixed point would act as a "hinge point". Costa Rica indicates that such a point, if adopted by the Court, should be placed at a distance of 3 nautical miles from the coast, a distance sufficient to anticipate possible physical changes.
84.
While arguing for a different location of the starting-point, Nicaragua agrees that "the 'hinge' solution is practicable. The line connecting the fixed point at sea with the actual land territory could be mobile, moving with natural changes in the coastline". In its view, the fixed point should be placed at the point that General Alexander identified as the starting-point of the land boundary and should be joined to the north-eastern end of Harbor Head Lagoon by a mobile line.
85.
The positions taken by the Parties with regard to the starting-point of the maritime boundary are illustrated on sketch-map No. 4 below.
86.
The Court observes that, since the starting-point of the land boundary is currently located at the end of the sandspit bordering the San Juan River where the river reaches the Caribbean Sea (see paragraph 71 above), the same point would normally be the starting-point of the maritime delimitation. However, the great instability of the coastline in the area of the mouth of the San Juan River, as indicated by the Court-appointed experts, prevents the identification on the sandspit of a fixed point that would be suitable as the starting-point of the maritime delimitation. It is preferable to select a fixed point at sea and connect it to the starting-point on the coast by a mobile line. Taking into account the fact that the prevailing phenomenon characterizing the coastline at the mouth of the San Juan River is recession through erosion from the sea, the Court deems it appropriate to place a fixed point at sea at a distance of 2 nautical miles from the coast on the median line.
87.
With regard to the enclave under Nicaragua's sovereignty, Costa Rica argues that no starting-point for the maritime delimitation can be placed on the sandbar separating Harbor Head Lagoon from the Caribbean Sea because of the general characteristics of the sandbar and in particular its instability.
88.
Nicaragua addresses the issue of the starting-points of maritime delimitation relating to the enclave only as an alternative, in the event that the Court does not accept Nicaragua's main contention that the starting-point of the maritime delimitation is the same point identified by General Alexander as the starting-point for the land boundary. Nicaragua notes that, should its contention not be accepted by the Court, "there would be three land boundary termini on the Caribbean Sea defining different stretches of coasts belonging to one Party or the other, generating overlapping projections into the sea".
89.
The Court notes that the sandbar separating Harbor Head Lagoon from the Caribbean Sea is a minor feature without vegetation and characterized by instability. In relation to this sandbar, the question of the starting-points of the maritime delimitation is bound up with the effects, if any, of this feature on the maritime delimitation. This latter issue will be addressed below, taking into account the characteristics of the feature in question.

B. Delimitation of the territorial sea

90.
With regard to the delimitation of the territorial sea, Article 15 of UNCLOS, which is applicable between the Parties, both of them being party to the Convention, reads as follows:

"Where the coasts of two States are opposite or adjacent to each other, neither of the two States is entitled, failing agreement between them to the contrary, to extend its territorial sea beyond the median line every point of which is equidistant from the nearest points on the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial seas of each of the two States is measured. The above provision does not apply, however, where it is necessary by reason of historic title or other special circumstances to delimit the territorial seas of the two States in a way which is at variance therewith."

The Court will use the term "median line" as in the above provision but will refer to "equidistance line" when it summarizes pleadings of the Parties where the latter term is used.

91.
Costa Rica argues that the Court should delimit the Parties' boundary in the territorial sea first, and thereafter in the exclusive economic zone and on the continental shelf, by means of two different methods. According to Costa Rica, the Court has consistently differentiated between the delimitation of the territorial sea under Article 15 of UNCLOS, and the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone and of the continental shelf under Articles 74 and 83 of UNCLOS, according to which it "shall be effected by agreement on the basis of international law, as referred to in Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, in order to achieve an equitable solution".
92.
Nicaragua argues that Article 15 of UNCLOS does not stipulate how the delimitation is to be effected, but only how States must act failing an agreement on delimitation. According to Nicaragua, a flexible application of the equidistance/special circumstances rule is necessary in order to "take into account local characteristics of the configuration of the coastline". Nicaragua further argues that there is no practical difference between the regime of delimitation of the territorial sea according to Article 15 of UNCLOS and the regime applicable to the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf, respectively outlined in Articles 74 and 83 of UNCLOS. In its view, "the approaches to delimitation of the different maritime zones are convergent" and all relevant provisions of UNCLOS must be read together and in context.
93.
Costa Rica maintains that in the delimitation of the territorial sea Nicaragua has taken into account legal concepts and geographic features that could only be relevant to the delimitation of its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. Costa Rica indicates that, while the provisions of UNCLOS may not be taken in isolation, Article 15 "does not refer to or incorporate Articles 74 and 83, and vice versa": Article 15 uses different terms, concerns a different subject-matter and consists of an autonomous provision. Costa Rica recalls that, in earlier cases concerning the delimitation of the territorial sea, the Court recognized the primacy of equidistance and decided that it would depart from an equidistance line only if special circumstances justified such a departure. While Costa Rica agrees that there is an element of flexibility in the adjustment of the line based on the existence of special circumstances, it maintains that this flexibility could not override the plain meaning of the text of UNCLOS which distinguishes between delimitation methods in different maritime zones.
94.
However, the Parties agree that, for the delimitation of the territorial sea, it is first necessary to establish the equidistance line. The Parties proceeded to discuss the delimitation of the territorial sea on the basis of the same method. They began by drawing a provisional equidistance line, and subsequently argued whether special circumstances existed that would justify the adjustment of the line.
95.
Costa Rica recalls that base points must be selected on coastal features that represent the "physical reality at the time of the delimitation" (referring to Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2009, p. 106, para. 131). Consequently, base points should not be placed on "ephemeral, sandy, unstable features". According to Costa Rica, those features include Barra Morris Creek, a sandbar on the left bank of the mouth of the San Juan River, and the sandspit north-west of Isla Portillos.
96.
Nicaragua identifies base points on dry land "and not... any points that lie upon straight baselines but not upon land". Nicaragua criticizes the fact that, in the construction of the equidistance line in the territorial sea, Costa Rica did not place base points on Paxaro Bovo and Palmenta Cays. According to Nicaragua, these features are entitled to a territorial sea and cannot be disregarded in the drawing of the equidistance line in the territorial sea.
97.
Objecting to Nicaragua's view that base points should be placed on Paxaro Bovo and Palmenta Cays for the construction of the equidistance line in the territorial sea, Costa Rica argues that, in light of their location, those features can have no impact on the course of the delimitation line in the territorial sea.
98.
In accordance with its established jurisprudence, the Court will proceed in two stages: first, the Court will draw a provisional median line; second, it will consider whether any special circumstances exist which justify adjusting such a line (Maritime Delimitation and TerritorialQuestions between Qatar and Bahrain (Qatar v. Bahrain), Merits, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2001, p. 94, para. 176; Territorial and Maritime Dispute between Nicaragua and Honduras in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Honduras), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2007 (II), p. 740, para. 268).
99.
The Court notes that Nicaragua has adopted a system of straight baselines in the Caribbean Sea by Decree No. 33-2013 of 19 August 2013, which Costa Rica has challenged. However, Nicaragua does not rely on those baselines for determining the equidistance lines concerning the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf.
100.
The Court will construct the provisional median line for delimiting the territorial sea only on the basis of points situated on the natural coast, which may include points placed on islands or rocks. The base points used by the Court are located on salient points that are situated on solid land and thus have a relatively higher stability than points placed on sandy features. The placement of these base points is illustrated on sketch-map No. 5 below. The Court observes that Paxaro Bovo and Palmenta Cays do not affect the construction of the median line in the territorial sea.
101.
Nicaragua contends that the equidistance line in the territorial sea should be adjusted in view of a "special circumstance" consisting in "the exaggerated cut-off resulting from the change from a convex to a concave coastline in the immediate vicinity of the Punta de Castilla starting-point". Nicaragua maintains that this portion of the coast does not reflect its general direction and notes that the resulting deviation "persists for a significant part of the length of the equidistance line". It argues that the convex-concave combination has to be regarded as a special circumstance requiring an adjustment of the strict equidistance line in the territorial sea. According to Nicaragua, it is "common ground that cut-offs resulting from coastal configurations" may lead to necessary adjustments of the provisional equidistance line.
102.
Costa Rica argues that there are no "special circumstances which require a delimitation of the territorial sea other than on the basis of equidistance". In response to Nicaragua's argument, Costa Rica contends that recourse to the equidistance line would not create any inequitable cut-off within the territorial sea. It maintains that Nicaragua's argument is based on an "artificially expanded geographic scope for the territorial sea delimitation" and inaccurate depictions of the coastal projections that it alleges would be cut off. According to Costa Rica, the boundary in the territorial sea should therefore follow an unadjusted equidistance line.
103.
The Court considers that, for the delimitation of the territorial sea, the combined effect of the concavity of Nicaragua's coast west of the mouth of the San Juan River and of the convexity of Costa Rica's coast east of Harbor Head Lagoon is of limited significance and does not represent a special circumstance that could justify an adjustment of the median line under Article 15 of UNCLOS.
104.
However, the Court considers that a special circumstance affecting maritime delimitation in the territorial sea consists in the high instability and narrowness of the sandspit near the mouth of the San Juan River which constitutes a barrier between the Caribbean Sea and a sizeable territory appertaining to Nicaragua (see paragraph 86 above). The instability of this sandspit does not allow one to select a base point on that part of Costa Rica's territory, as Costa Rica acknowledges, or to connect a point on the sandspit to the fixed point at sea for the first part of the delimitation line. The Court is of the view that it is more appropriate that the fixed point at sea on the median line, referred to in paragraph 86 above, be connected by a mobile line to the point on solid land on Costa Rica's coast which is closest to the mouth of the river. Under the present circumstances, this point has been identified by the Court-appointed experts as point Pv, with co-ordinates 10° 56' 22.56"N, 83° 41' 51.81"W (WGS 84 datum), but there may be geomorphological changes over time. For the present, the delimitation line in the territorial sea thus extends from the fixed point at sea landwards to the point on the low-water mark of the coast of the Caribbean Sea that is closest to point Pv. From the fixed point seawards, the delimitation line in the territorial sea is the median line as determined by the base points selected in relation to the present situation of the coast.
105.
The Court considers that another special circumstance is relevant for the delimitation of the territorial sea. The instability of the sandbar separating Harbor Head Lagoon from the Caribbean Sea and its situation as a small enclave within Costa Rica's territory call for a special solution. Should territorial waters be attributed to the enclave, they would be of little use to Nicaragua, while breaking the continuity of Costa Rica's territorial sea. Under these circumstances, the delimitation in the territorial sea between the Parties will not take into account any entitlement which might result from the enclave.
106.
The delimitation line in the territorial sea is obtained by joining landwards the fixed point at sea defined below with the point on solid land on Costa Rica's coast that is closest to the mouth of the river (see paragraph 104 above) and by joining seawards with geodetic lines the points with the following co-ordinates in WGS 84 datum:

Turning point Fixed point at 2 NM (FP) A B C D E F G H I J K LLatitude north 10° 58' 22.9" 11° 01' 38.6" 11° 02' 32.0" 11° 02' 42.7" 11° 02' 45.7" 11° 03' 14.3" 11° 04' 10.9" 11° 04' 54.2" 11° 05' 02.7" 11° 06' 04.1" 11° 06' 24.8" 11° 06' 46.7" 11° 07' 24.0"Longitude west 83° 41' 39.8" 83° 40' 50.4" 83° 40' 12.9" 83° 40' 05.6" 83° 40' 03.7" 83° 39' 45.6" 83° 39' 07.7" 83° 38' 35.3" 83° 38' 28.7" 83° 37' 42.6" 83° 37' 26.3" 83° 37' 08.0" 83° 36' 34.7"

The boundary in the territorial sea shall terminate at point Lx (with current co-ordinates 11° 07' 28.8" N and 83° 36' 30.4" W), at the intersection of the 12-nautical-mile line with the geodetic line connecting point L with the first turning point on the provisional equidistance line in the exclusive economic zone, identified as point 1 and having the co-ordinates indicated at paragraph 145 below. The delimitation line is illustrated on sketch-map No. 5 below.

C. Delimitation of the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf

107.
The Court will now proceed to the delimitation of the exclusive economic zones and continental shelves appertaining to Costa Rica and Nicaragua, for which both Parties requested the Court to draw a single delimitation line. The relevant provisions of UNCLOS read as follows:

Article 74

"1. The delimitation of the exclusive economic zone between States with opposite or adjacent coasts shall be effected by agreement on the basis of international law, as referred to in Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, in order to achieve an equitable solution."

Article 83

"1. The delimitation of the continental shelf between States with opposite or adjacent coasts shall be effected by agreement on the basis of international law, as referred to in Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, in order to achieve an equitable solution."

(a) Relevant coasts and relevant area

(i) Relevant coasts

108.
An essential step in maritime delimitation is identifying the relevant coasts: those that "generate projections which overlap with projections from the coast of the other Party" (MaritimeDelimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2009, p. 97, para. 99). For defining the criteria applicable to determining when relevant overlapping projections exist, both Parties refer to the Court's jurisprudence and to a passage in the arbitral award in Bay of Bengal Maritime Boundary Arbitration (Bangladesh v. India), in which the arbitral tribunal noted that "there is a margin of appreciation in determining the projections generated by a segment of coastline and a point at which a line drawn at an acute angle to the general direction of the coast can no longer be fairly said to represent the seaward projection of that coast" (Tribunal established under Annex VII of UNCLOS, Award of 7 July 2014, International Law Reports, Vol. 167, p. 86, para. 302).
109.
However, Nicaragua and Costa Rica take different approaches to the determination of the relevant coasts in the present proceedings. Nicaragua argues that a segment of coast may be considered relevant only if its frontal projection "overlaps with the seaward projection of the coast of [the] other Party", the term "seaward" having "the connotation of 'in the direction of the sea'". Costa Rica contends that, with some exceptions concerning particular situations — such as the case of a coast that "faces entirely away from the area of overlapping potential entitlements" — the relevant coasts are determined by establishing which coasts generate overlapping entitlements by employing radial projections, using an envelope of arcs.
110.
Notwithstanding this divergence of methods, the Parties reach nearly identical solutions with regard to the relevant coasts on the Caribbean Sea. According to Nicaragua, "its relevant coast includes the coast up to Coconut Point", while the entire coast of Costa Rica is relevant (see sketch-map No. 7 below). Costa Rica takes the same position with regard to its own coast but considers that "only the coast of Nicaragua ending at or near Punta de Perlas is relevant on the Nicaraguan coast" (see sketch-map No. 6 below).
111.
The Court considers that the entire mainland coast of Costa Rica is relevant. In the Court's view, the mainland coast of Nicaragua is relevant up to Punta Gorda (north), where the coast shows a significant inflexion. All these coasts generate projections that overlap with projections from the other Party's coast.
112.
One divergence between the Parties regarding the relevant coasts concerns Nicaragua's contention that a few kilometres should be added to the overall length of its relevant coast because some parts of the coasts of the Corn Islands and of the Cayos de Perlas should also be included. The Court observes that the Corn Islands, but not the Cayos de Perlas, were already considered in the Judgment in the case between Nicaragua and Colombia as parts of the relevant coast, contributing "base points for the construction of the provisional median line" with regard to the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone (Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2012 (II), pp. 698-699, para. 201). According to that Judgment, the coasts of the Corn Islands did not "add to the length of the relevant coast", but this was for a reason that does not apply in the present case, namely that in relation to Colombia's islands the Corn Islands were "parallel to the mainland" (ibid., p. 678, para. 145).
113.
The coasts of the Corn Islands that do not face north also have to be included when determining the length of the relevant coasts. On the other hand, no evidence concerning the capacity of the Cayos de Perlas to "sustain human habitation or economic life of their own" as required by Article 121 of UNCLOS was supplied by Nicaragua to support its assertion that "the Cayos de Perlas generate maritime projections". Therefore their coasts should not be included among the relevant coasts.
114.
Given the fact that the relevant coasts of Nicaragua and Costa Rica are not characterized by sinuosity, the length of the relevant coasts should preferably be measured on the basis of their natural configuration. This results in a total length of the coasts of 228.8 km for Costa Rica and of 465.8 km for Nicaragua, with a ratio of 1:2.04 in favour of Nicaragua (see sketch-map No. 8 below).

(ii) Relevant area

115.
As the Court indicated in Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia), "[t]he relevant area comprises that part of the maritime space in which the potential entitlements of the parties overlap" (Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2012 (II), p. 683, para. 159).
116.
The Court also recalls its observation that "the legal concept of the 'relevant area' has to be taken into account as part of the methodology of maritime delimitation" (Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2009, p. 99, para. 110). Moreover, "[d]epending on the configuration of the relevant coasts in the general geographical context, the relevant area may include certain maritime spaces and exclude others which are not germane to the case in hand" (Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2012 (II), p. 682, para. 157).
117.
The Parties agree that the relevant area should not include the spaces attributed to Colombia on the basis of the 2012 Judgment and those attributed to Panama by the 1980 bilateral treaty concluded with Costa Rica. This conforms with what the Court stated in Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia) (Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2012 (II), p. 685, para. 163):

"The Court recalls that the relevant area cannot extend beyond the area in which the entitlements of both Parties overlap. Accordingly, if either Party has no entitlement in a particular area, whether because of an agreement it has concluded with a third State or because that area lies beyond a judicially determined boundary between that Party and a third State, that area cannot be treated as part of the relevant area for present purposes."

118.
In the north, in order to determine the relevant area, Nicaragua submits that a perpendicular line to the general direction of the coast should be drawn starting from Coconut Point until it reaches the boundary with Colombia (see sketch-map No. 7 above). Costa Rica contends that the relevant area should also comprise waters falling "within the radial projection of other parts of coast that are relevant". This would increase the part of the relevant area attributed to Nicaragua (see sketch-map No. 6 above).
119.
To define the relevant area in the south, Costa Rica adopts a notional line continuing along the direction of its maritime boundary with Panama as set out in their bilateral treaty of 1980. Nicaragua's position on the relevant area is that it should be bounded to the south by the lines drawn in the 1980 treaty between Costa Rica and Panama and in the 1977 treaty between Costa Rica and Colombia (see orange area on sketch-map No. 7 above). However, Nicaragua contends that, if the Court were to adopt Costa Rica's position on the 1977 treaty and extend the relevant area beyond the limits set out therein, that area should be bounded by the line drawn in the 1976 treaty between Panama and Colombia (see light brown area on sketch-map No. 7). Nicaragua rejects Costa Rica's approach of using the notional extension of the line set out in the 1980 treaty to define the relevant area as it would exclude an area to the south of that line where only Costa Rica or Nicaragua may have claims.
120.
The Court considers that, except for the space attributed to Colombia in the 2012 Judgment, the area where there are overlapping projections in the north includes the whole maritime space situated within a distance of 200 nautical miles from Costa Rica's coast.
121.
In the south, the situation is more complicated because of the presence of claims of third States on which the Court cannot pronounce itself (see sub-section (b) below). The impact of the rights of third States in the areas that may be attributed to one of the Parties cannot be determined, but the spaces where third States have a claim may nevertheless be included. In the Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea case (Romania v. Ukraine) (Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2009, p. 100, para. 114), the Court observed that:

"where areas are included solely for the purpose of approximate identification of overlapping entitlements of the Parties to the case, which may be deemed to constitute the relevant area (and which in due course will play a part in the final stage testing for disproportionality), third party entitlements cannot be affected".

122.
The Court will further analyse the issue of the relevant area in sub-section (e) below.

(b) Relevance of bilateral treaties and judgments involving third States

123.
An issue is raised by the fact that, in the area of the Caribbean Sea in which the Court is requested to delimit the maritime boundary between the Parties, third States may also have claims. As was stated in Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia), the Court's Judgment may only address the maritime boundary between the Parties, "without prejudice to any claim of a third State or any claim which either Party may have against a third State" (Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2012 (II), p. 707, para. 228). The Judgment can refer to those claims, but cannot determine whether they are well founded. Conversely, a judgment rendered by the Court between one of the Parties and a third State or between two third States cannot per se affect the maritime boundary between the Parties. The same applies to treaties concluded between one of the Parties and a third State or between third States.
124.
Nicaragua acknowledges that treaties cannot be relied on by States that are not party to them, but nevertheless presents arguments concerning maritime delimitation on the basis of three treaties to which it is not a party, one between Costa Rica and Colombia, another between Costa Rica and Panama and the last between Colombia and Panama. With regard to the 1977 Treaty on Delimitation of Marine and Submarine Areas and Maritime Cooperation between Costa Rica and Colombia, Nicaragua argues that this treaty "fixed and limited Costa Rica's interests in the maritime spaces of the Caribbean Sea" and that it consolidated Costa Rica's potential claims in the area.
125.
Moreover, Nicaragua states that although the treaty between Costa Rica and Colombia has not been ratified, it "was in fact enforced according to its provisions". According to Nicaragua, compliance by Costa Rica with the terms of the treaty for approximately 40 years generated binding obligations for Costa Rica. In Nicaragua's view, statements made by Costa Rica "constituted an irrevocable commitment to ratify [the treaty], once all the parliamentary requirements had been satisfied".
126.
Nicaragua claims that the boundary established by the 1977 Treaty between Costa Rica and Colombia must be taken into account in the delimitation between the Parties in the present case in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. That boundary, in Nicaragua's view, "defines — and limits — the extent of Costa Rica's maritime areas in the Caribbean Sea" and prevents Costa Rica from claiming any area to the north and east of that line.
127.
According to Nicaragua, "there can have been no vacuum in the areas of the South-Western Caribbean attributed to Colombia in its 1977 Treaty with Costa Rica. If the areas were not claimed by Costa Rica in 1977, they appertained to Colombia: and following the Court's Judgment of 2012, some of those areas now belong to Nicaragua."
128.
With regard to the 1980 Treaty between Costa Rica and Panama, Nicaragua acknowledges that this treaty is also res inter alios acta in relation to Nicaragua, but nevertheless it argues that the treaty creates "a legal regime and scenario which the Court cannot ignore". According to Nicaragua, Article 1 of the treaty establishes a tripoint at the intersection of the boundaries concerning Costa Rica, Colombia and Panama. This provision, in Nicaragua's view, also gives effect to the 1977 Treaty between Costa Rica and Colombia.
129.
Concerning the 1976 Treaty between Colombia and Panama, Nicaragua argues that Panama can no longer have any claim in the area north of the boundary line, because it would be incompatible with that treaty. In Nicaragua's view, also Colombia cannot have any claim in that area, as this would be incompatible with the boundary drawn by the Court in Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia). Therefore, only Nicaragua or Costa Rica may have claims in that area.
130.
In its Counter-Memorial, Nicaragua observes that the 2012 Judgment of the Court is not binding on Costa Rica, but that "a departure from its findings would be warranted only if new and compelling elements would justify such a departure".
131.
With regard to the 1977 Treaty between Costa Rica and Colombia, Costa Rica argues that this treaty has not been ratified and that thus, according to its terms, it has never entered into force and cannot have the same effects as if it were ratified. Despite Costa Rica's practice of compliance with regard to the boundary fixed by the treaty, the latter is res inter alios acta in relation to Nicaragua and should not be taken into account in the present case. Costa Rica further asserts that the treaty could not produce any erga omnes effects. Moreover, following the Court's 2012 Judgment in the case concerning Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Costa Rica indicated in a note to Colombia that it considered the treaty to be "impracticable" and "ineffective". It maintains that the two countries no longer share an area of overlapping maritime entitlements. Referring to the 1980 Treaty between Costa Rica and Panama, Costa Rica argues that the fact that this treaty is undisputedly in force and that the boundary it establishes may connect at a tripoint with the line fixed by the 1977 Treaty does not imply that the 1977 Treaty is in force.
132.
In response to Nicaragua's argument concerning Costa Rica's practice with regard to the 1977 Treaty, Costa Rica contends that its conduct cannot amount to any renunciation of its rights in the maritime areas now at stake. Costa Rica maintains that the "provisional application of a treaty that has not entered into force simply involves compliance with the provisions of the law of treaties" and refers to the obligation, under Article 18 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, for a State which has signed a treaty to refrain from "acts which would defeat the object and purpose" of the treaty before its ratification. Costa Rica stresses that on no occasion did it renounce its right to assert its entitlement to maritime areas in the region with respect to Nicaragua.
133.
With regard to the 1976 Treaty between Colombia and Panama, Costa Rica maintains that this treaty cannot affect the rights of the Parties in the present case. Costa Rica argues that the Court and international tribunals have consistently refused to consider treaties concluded with third States or between third States when drawing the course of a maritime boundary. According to Costa Rica, while these treaties may be used to set the limits of the relevant area and may influence the endpoint of the maritime boundary, their bilateral character should be preserved and the Court should not take them into account when drawing a maritime boundary between the Parties.
134.
The Court observes that the 1976 Treaty between Panama and Colombia involves third States and cannot be considered relevant for the delimitation between the Parties. With regard to the 1977 Treaty between Costa Rica and Colombia, there is no evidence that a renunciation by Costa Rica of its maritime entitlements, if it had ever taken place, was also intended to be effective with regard to a State other than Colombia.

(c) Provisional equidistance line

135.
In order to define the single maritime boundary concerning the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf, the Court has to "achieve an equitable solution" according to Articles 74 and 83 of UNCLOS. The Court will delimit the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf pursuant to its established methodology in three stages. First, it will provisionally draw an equidistance line using the most appropriate base points on the relevant coasts of the Parties. Second, it will consider whether there exist relevant circumstances which are capable of justifying an adjustment of the equidistance line provisionally drawn. Third, it will assess the overall equitableness of the boundary resulting from the first two stages by checking whether there exists a marked disproportionality between the length of the Parties' relevant coasts and the maritime areas found to appertain to them (Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2009, pp. 101-103, paras. 115-122; Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2012 (II), pp. 695-696, paras. 190-193; Maritime Dispute (Peru v. Chile), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2014, p. 65, para. 180). The Court notes that the methodology in three stages set out in its Judgment in Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine) has also been adopted by other international tribunals requested to delimit maritime boundaries (see e.g. Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary in the Bay of Bengal (Bangladesh/Myanmar), Judgment, ITLOS Reports 2012, pp. 64-68, paras. 225-240; Bay of Bengal Maritime Boundary Arbitration (Bangladesh v. India), Award of 7 July 2014, International Law Reports, Vol. 167, pp. 111-114, paras. 336-346).
136.
With regard to the first stage of the delimitation, the Court, in Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine), stated that:

"First, the Court will establish a provisional delimitation line, using methods that are geometrically objective and also appropriate for the geography of the area in which the delimitation is to take place. So far as delimitation between adjacent coasts is concerned, an equidistance line will be drawn unless there are compelling reasons that make this unfeasible in the particular case" (Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2009, p. 101, para. 116).

As the Court observed in that Judgment, "[t]he line thus adopted is heavily dependent on the physical geography and the most seaward points of the two coasts" (ibid., para. 117). However, the Court also noted that, "[w]hen placing base points on very small maritime features would distort the relevant geography, it is appropriate to disregard them in the construction of a provisional median line" (Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2012 (II), p. 699, para. 202).

137.
The seaward endpoint of the delimitation of the territorial sea, as determined above (see paragraph 106), constitutes the starting-point of the provisional equidistance line.
138.
The Court has already observed when considering the median line relating to the territorial sea that the Parties construct their respective equidistance lines by using base points that are placed on natural coasts. The same applies with regard to the equidistance lines proposed by the Parties concerning the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf.
139.
The Parties are generally in agreement with regard to the selection of base points, but are divided on two issues. The first issue concerns the placement of base points on the Corn Islands. Costa Rica contests this placement. Costa Rica acknowledges that, in Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia), "[t]hese same Nicaraguan features were given full effect in the delimitation with Colombia", but argues that in that case the delimitation was different, because it concerned "the opposite coasts of opposing islands" and not adjacent coasts. Nicaragua contends that, considering the Corn Islands' vicinity to the mainland, "to ignore [them] as base points would... effectively erase an integral component of Nicaragua's coast from the map". Nicaragua points out that the Corn Islands are capable of generating an exclusive economic zone and a continental shelf.
140.
The Court concludes that base points should be placed on the Corn Islands for the purpose of constructing a provisional equidistance line. These islands have a significant number of inhabitants and sustain economic life. They therefore amply satisfy the requirements set forth in Article 121 of UNCLOS for an island to be entitled to generate an exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. The effect that has to be attributed to the Corn Islands in the adjusted delimitation is a different question, that should not affect the construction of the provisional equidistance line.
141.
The other issue relating to the base points concerns some minor maritime features, Paxaro Bovo and Palmenta Cays, which are situated at a short distance from Nicaragua's mainland coast near Punta del Mono. Costa Rica argues that base points should not be placed on small insular features located along the coast and stresses that islets, cays and rocks do not generate entitlements to an exclusive economic zone or a continental shelf. In Costa Rica's view, placing base points on those features would create an "excessive and disproportionate distortion" of the provisional equidistance line. Nicaragua does not argue that these small islands are capable of generating a claim to an exclusive economic zone or to a continental shelf. According to Nicaragua, however, these maritime features can provide base points for the construction of the provisional equidistance line because they are "fringing islands" that "form an integral part of Nicaragua's coast". The assimilation of these islands to the coast is contested by Costa Rica.
142.
The Court notes that the Palmenta Cays are islets lying at a distance of about one nautical mile from the coast. When considering base points for the construction of an equidistance line, the Court referred to "a cluster of fringe islands" in Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine) (Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2009, p. 109, para. 149) and to "islands fringing the Nicaraguan coast" in Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia) (Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2012 (II), p. 678, para. 145; see also ibid., p. 699, para. 201). Such formations may be assimilated to the coast. Palmenta Cays fit this description. The same conclusion may apply with regard to Paxaro Bovo, which is a rock situated 3 nautical miles off the coast south of Punta del Mono. The Court considers it appropriate to place base points on both features for the construction of the provisional equidistance line.
143.
In the construction of the provisional equidistance line relating to the exclusive economic zone and to the continental shelf, the Court will again select base points located on the natural coast and on solid land (see paragraph 100 above).
144.
As already stated, the construction of this line is without prejudice to any claims that a third State may have on part of the area crossed by the line.
145.
The provisional equidistance line shall follow a series of geodetic lines connecting the points having the following co-ordinates in WGS 84 datum:

Turning point Lx (endpoint of the delimitation of the territorial sea) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7Latitude north 11° 07' 28.8" 11° 08' 08.3" 11° 09' 01.3" 11° 09' 11.5" 11° 10' 20.9" 11° 10' 49.9" 11° 11' 08.1" 11° 11' 13.8"Longitude west 83° 36' 30.4" 83° 35' 54.5" 83° 35' 05.3" 83° 34' 55.5" 83° 33' 47.9" 83° 33' 17.2" 83° 32' 57.1" 83° 32' 50.5"

Turning point 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29Latitude north 11° 12' 39.0" 11° 12' 56.2" 11° 13' 06.0" 11° 13' 07.3" 11° 14' 03.7" 11° 14' 56.5" 11° 14' 56.4" 11° 15' 02.4" 11° 15' 06.1" 11° 15' 39.2" 11° 15' 42.5" 11° 13' 29.7" 11° 12' 03.5" 11° 11' 52.0" 11° 07' 19.5" 11° 05' 11.7" 11° 05' 01.1" 11° 04' 55.4" 11° 05' 06.1" 11° 05' 03.4" 11° 09' 58.0" 11° 12' 24.8"Longitude west 83° 31' 22.7" 83° 31' 04.2" 83° 30' 53.5" 83° 30' 52.0" 83° 29' 46.5" 83° 20' 54.2" 83° 17' 24.1" 83° 07' 50.0" 83° 03' 44.9" 82° 47' 03.3" 82° 45' 38.1" 82° 40' 33.2" 82° 37' 09.5" 82° 36' 41.4" 82° 25' 08.1" 82° 19' 33.4" 82° 18' 16.5" 82° 17' 28.1" 81° 58' 08.3" 81° 38' 38.8" 81° 06' 27.0" 80° 46' 04.4"

From point 29, the provisional equidistance line continues along the geodetic line starting at an azimuth of 82° 08' 29". The line is illustrated on sketch-map No. 9 below.

(d) Adjustment to the provisional equidistance line

146.
After constructing the provisional equidistance line, "the Court will at the next, second stage consider whether there are factors calling for the adjustment or shifting of the provisional equidistance line in order to achieve an equitable result" (Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2009, p. 101, para. 120).
147.
Both Parties are of the view that an adjustment of the provisional equidistance line for the delimitation of the EEZ and continental shelf is necessary, but they rely on different circumstances to support their claimed adjustment.
148.
Nicaragua argues that it would suffer from a cut-off effect caused by "the convex and north-facing nature of Costa Rica's coastline at Punta Castilla immediately adjacent to Nicaragua's concave coastline" if the provisional equidistance line were adopted as the maritime boundary. That cut-off has been invoked by Nicaragua also as a special circumstance requiring the adjustment of the equidistance line in the territorial sea. According to Nicaragua, its effects persist beyond the limits of the territorial sea, up to a distance of at least 65 nautical miles. Nicaragua argues that the combination of the convexity of Costa Rica's coast with the concavity of Nicaragua's coast forces the equidistance line to take a sharp angle in front of Nicaragua's coast, to its disadvantage. Nicaragua contends that the line must be adjusted in order to achieve an equitable result.
149.
Costa Rica contests Nicaragua's argument. According to Costa Rica, the convexity and concavity invoked by Nicaragua are "microgeographical" and cannot be characterized as "marked". It maintains that "Nicaragua's cut-off is inevitable, but it is not inequitable". Costa Rica moreover contends that the combination of convexity and concavity can only be relevant when a State occupies a central position between two States along a convex or concave coast: since Nicaragua does not find itself in a three-State-concavity situation, it cannot claim to suffer such a cut-off.
150.
In order to support an adjustment to the provisional equidistance line to its own advantage, Costa Rica refers to what it calls a notional delimitation, consisting of the prolongation of the equidistance line agreed in the bilateral treaty with Panama. It indicates that the fact that it finds itself in the situation of a "three-State concavity" where the "coastal concavity and the cut-off created by that concavity in conjunction with a notional delimitation with a third State" creates an inequitable delimitation. Costa Rica argues that its coast is "purely concave", and that the equidistance line produces a cut-off effect for Costa Rica's seaward projections. According to Costa Rica, this cut-off constitutes a relevant circumstance calling for the adjustment of the provisional equidistance line in order to reach an equitable solution for both Parties. Costa Rica recalls that the Court first enunciated the notion of cut-off in the North Sea Continental Shelf (Federal Republic of Germany/Denmark; Federal Republic of Germany/Netherlands) cases and that international tribunals have further confirmed that the provisional equidistance line should be adjusted when a cut-off is created as a result of the concavity of the coast. Costa Rica observes that its claimed adjustment would allow it to reach its full 200-nautical-mile entitlement.
151.
Costa Rica further argues that if, contrary to its view, the Court were to find that the Corn Islands should be taken as base points for the provisional equidistance line, the geographic situation of these islands, and in particular their location at a distance from the mainland coast should be considered as a relevant circumstance calling for an adjustment of the line. According to Costa Rica, the Corn Islands should be given no effect.
152.
Nicaragua rejects Costa Rica's argument according to which it is suffering from "the interplay between the delimitation with Nicaragua, on the one side, and the notional delimitation with Panama, on the other". In Nicaragua's view, the relationship between Costa Rica and Panama cannot be taken into account in the present proceedings, as it has nothing to do with Nicaragua. Moreover, Nicaragua maintains that the jurisprudence does not recognize a right of States to have their exclusive economic zones reach the limit of 200 nautical miles, irrespective of the geography and the potential rights of third States. Nicaragua also dismisses Costa Rica's contention according to which the Corn Islands constitute a relevant circumstance calling for the adjustment of the equidistance line. Nicaragua considers that the Corn Islands exert an influence on the course of the equidistance line in the same way as base points placed on Costa Rica's coast: "those influences are mutual and balanced". Nicaragua argues that the Corn Islands must be given full weight.
153.
With regard to the effect to be given to the Corn Islands in the determination of the maritime boundary, the Court observes that, while they are entitled to generate an exclusive economic zone and a continental shelf, they are situated at about 26 nautical miles from the mainland coast and their impact on the provisional equidistance line is out of proportion to their limited size. As was noted by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary in the Bay of Bengal (Bangladesh/Myanmar) (Judgment, ITLOS Reports 2012, p. 86, para. 317):

"the effect to be given to an island in the delimitation of the maritime boundary in the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf depends on the geographic realities and the circumstances of the specific case. There is no general rule in this respect. Each case is unique and requires specific treatment, the ultimate goal being to reach a solution that is equitable."

154.
In the case of the Corn Islands, the Court considers that, given their limited size and significant distance from the mainland coast, it is appropriate to give them only half effect. This produces an adjustment of the equidistance line in favour of Costa Rica.
155.
The other arguments advanced by the Parties to support an adjustment of the provisional equidistance line cannot be accepted. Nicaragua's alleged combination of a convex coast of Costa Rica near Punta de Castilla and of its own concave coast has a limited effect on the boundary line, especially at a distance from the coast, and is not sufficiently significant to warrant an adjustment of the line.
156.
The overall concavity of Costa Rica's coast and its relations with Panama cannot justify an adjustment of the equidistance line in its relations with Nicaragua. When constructing the maritime boundary between the Parties, the relevant issue is whether the seaward projections from Nicaragua's coast create a cut-off for the projections from Costa Rica's coast as a result of the concavity of that coast. This alleged cut-off is not significant, even less so once the equidistance line has been adjusted by giving a half effect to the Corn Islands.
157.
The adjusted equidistance line of the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf is obtained by joining with geodetic lines the points with the following co-ordinates in WGS 84 datum:

Turning point Lx (endpoint of the delimitation of the territorial sea) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19'Latitude north 11° 07' 28.8" 11° 08' 08.3" 11° 09' 01.3" 11° 09' 11.5" 11° 10' 20.9" 11° 10' 49.9" 11° 11' 08.1" 11° 11' 13.8" 11° 12' 39.0" 11° 12' 56.2" 11° 13' 06.0" 11° 13' 07.3" 11° 14' 03.7" 11° 14' 56.5" 11° 14' 56.4" 11° 15' 02.4" 11° 15' 06.1" 11° 15' 39.2" 11° 15' 42.5" 11° 14' 39.4"Longitude west 83° 36' 30.4" 83° 35' 54.5" 83° 35' 05.3" 83° 34' 55.5" 83° 33' 47.9" 83° 33' 17.2" 83° 32' 57.1" 83° 32' 50.5" 83° 31' 22.7" 83° 31' 04.2" 83° 30' 53.5" 83° 30' 52.0" 83° 29' 46.5" 83° 20' 54.2" 83° 17' 24.1" 83° 07' 50.0" 83° 03' 44.9" 82° 47' 03.3" 82° 45' 38.1" 82° 40' 02.5"

Turning point 20' 21' 22' 23' 24' 25' 26' 27' 28' 29' 30' 31' 32' 33' 34' 35' 36' 37' 38' 39' 40' 41'Latitude north 11° 13' 58.8" 11° 13' 53.6" 11° 13' 28.0" 11° 11' 56.7" 11° 11' 54.6" 11° 11' 54.0" 11° 11' 49.5" 11° 11' 01.9" 11° 11' 00.8" 11° 11' 00.3" 11° 11' 19.6" 11° 11' 39.3" 11° 11' 43.5" 11° 11' 51.9" 11° 14' 58.9" 11° 19' 31.9" 11° 21' 24.5" 11° 21' 31.1" 11° 21' 40.2" 11° 21' 47.5" 11° 21' 52.2" 11° 25' 59.0"Longitude west 82° 36' 20.2" 82° 35' 51.2" 82° 33' 20.0" 82° 24' 06.7" 82° 23' 53.6" 82° 23' 49.7" 82° 23' 20.7" 82° 18' 01.5" 82° 17' 29.5" 82° 17' 08.0" 82° 08' 49.8" 81° 59' 01.5" 81° 58' 01.0" 81° 57' 00.7" 81° 39' 24.5" 81° 21' 43.1" 81° 10' 12.0" 81° 09' 34.5" 81° 08' 50.2" 81° 08' 17.4" 81° 07' 55.4" 80° 47' 51.3"

From point 41', the delimitation line continues along the geodetic line starting at an azimuth of 77° 49' 08". As already noted (see paragraph 144 above), this line is constructed without prejudice to any claims that a third State may have on part of the area crossed by the line. The line is illustrated on sketch-map No. 10 below.

158.
Given the complexity of the line described in the previous paragraph, the Court considers it more appropriate to adopt a simplified line, on the basis of the most significant turning points on the adjusted equidistance line, which indicate a change in the direction of that line. The resulting simplified line is composed of the points with the following co-ordinates in WGS 84 datum:

Turning point Lx (endpoint of the delimitation of the territorial sea) M N O P Q R S T U VLatitude north 11° 07' 28.8" 11° 08' 08.3" 11° 14' 03.7" 11° 14' 56.5" 11° 15' 42.5" 11° 11' 00.8" 11° 11' 43.5" 11° 14' 58.9" 11° 19' 31.9" 11° 21' 31.1" 11° 25' 59.0"Longitude west 83° 36' 30.4" 83° 35' 54.5" 83° 29' 46.5" 83° 20' 54.2" 82° 45' 38.1" 82° 17' 29.5" 81° 58' 01.0" 81° 39' 24.5" 81° 21' 43.1" 81° 09' 34.5" 80° 47' 51.3"

From point V, the delimitation line continues along the geodetic line starting at an azimuth of 77° 49' 08". This line is illustrated on sketch-map No. 11 below.

(e) Disproportionality test

159.
As the Court stated in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine) :

"Finally, and at a third stage, the Court will verify that the line (a provisional equidistance line which may or may not have been adjusted by taking into account the relevant circumstances) does not, as it stands, lead to an inequitable result by reason of any marked disproportion between the ratio of the respective coastal lengths and the ratio between the relevant maritime area of each State by reference to the delimitation line" (Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2009, p. 103, para. 122).

160.
The Court also referred to the need for "a confirmation that no great disproportionality of maritime areas is evident by comparison to the ratio of coastal lengths" (ibid., para. 122).
161.
In Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia), the Court explained that:

"[i]n carrying out this third stage, the Court... is not applying a principle of strict proportionality. Maritime delimitation is not designed to produce a correlation between the lengths of the Parties' relevant coasts and their respective shares of the relevant area... The Court's task is to check for a significant disproportionality. What constitutes such a disproportionality will vary according to the precise situation in each case, for the third stage of the process cannot require the Court to disregard all of the considerations which were important in the earlier stages." (Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2012 (II), p. 715, para. 240.)

Therefore, at this stage in delimitation, the Court will endeavour to "ensure that there is not a disproportion so gross as to 'taint' the result and render it inequitable" (ibid., p. 716, para. 242). Whether there is significant disproportionality "remains in each case a matter for the Court's appreciation, which it will exercise by reference to the overall geography of the area" (Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2009, p. 129, para. 213).

162.
In Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia), the Court also explained that:

"[t]he calculation of the relevant area does not purport to be precise but is only approximate and '[t]he object of delimitation is to achieve a delimitation that is equitable, not an equal apportionment of maritime areas'" (Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2012 (II), p. 683, para. 158, citing Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2009, p. 100, para. 111).

163.
The relevant coastal lengths and their ratio have already been identified (see paragraph 114 above). What still needs to be determined is the size of the maritime area appertaining to each Party as a result of the construction of the maritime boundary.
164.
The Court observes that the attribution of some maritime space to a third State will affect the part of the relevant area that appertains to each Party. Since the maritime space appertaining to third States cannot be identified in the present proceedings, it is impossible for the Court to calculate precisely the part of the relevant area of each Party. However, for the purpose of verifying whether the maritime delimitation shows a gross disproportion, an approximate calculation of the relevant area is sufficient. In the present case, the Court finds it appropriate to base this calculation on the "notional extension of the Costa Rica-Panama boundary" as suggested by Costa Rica (see paragraph 119 above).
165.
On the foregoing basis, the relevant area (see sketch-map No. 12 above) would be divided by the maritime boundary into 73,968 sq km for Nicaragua and 30,873 sq km for Costa Rica, with a resulting ratio of 1:2.4 in favour of Nicaragua. The comparison with the ratio of coastal lengths (1:2.04 also in favour of Nicaragua: see paragraph 114 above) does not show any "marked disproportion".
166.
The Court therefore finds that the delimitation concerning the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf between the Parties in the Caribbean Sea shall follow the line described in paragraph 158.

V. MARITIME DELIMITATION IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN

167.
The Court now turns to the delimitation of the maritime boundary between the Parties in the Pacific Ocean. As with the maritime delimitation in the Caribbean Sea, the Court was requested with respect to the Pacific Ocean to delimit the boundary for the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf. The maritime boundaries claimed by each Party are depicted in sketch-map No. 14 below.
168.
Following its established jurisprudence, the Court will delimit the maritime boundary in the Pacific Ocean pursuant to the same methods used in delimiting the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf in the Caribbean Sea (see paragraphs 98 and 135 above).

A. Starting-point of the maritime delimitation

169.
Costa Rica and Nicaragua agree that the starting-point of the maritime boundary in the Pacific Ocean is the midpoint of the closing line of Salinas Bay, and that such a closing line is the one drawn between Punta Zacate, on Costa Rican territory, and Punta Arranca Barba, on Nicaraguan territory. According to Costa Rica, the co-ordinates of the midpoint of the closing line of Salinas Bay are 11° 04' 00" N, 85° 44' 28" W. According to Nicaragua, the exact co-ordinates of the midpoint of the closing line of Salinas Bay are 11° 03' 56.3" N, 85° 44' 28.3" W. In the oral proceedings, Costa Rica raised no objection to using the co-ordinates indicated by Nicaragua in its Counter-Memorial for the purposes of identifying the starting-point of the maritime boundary in the Pacific Ocean. Therefore, on the basis of the agreement between the Parties, the Court finds that the maritime boundary between Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the Pacific Ocean shall start at the midpoint of the closing line of Salinas Bay, with co-ordinates 11° 03' 56.3" N, 85° 44' 28.3" W (WGS 84 datum).

B. Delimitation of the territorial sea

170.
In order to establish the median line in the territorial sea, Costa Rica selects a number of base points. On its own coast, Costa Rica selects base points on some islets just off Punta Zacate and Punta Descartes, as well as two points located on a seaward protrusion of the Santa Elena Peninsula called Punta Blanca. Costa Rica states that the Santa Elena Peninsula has an area of some 286 sq km and a permanent population of more than 2,400 inhabitants, which Nicaragua does not dispute. On Nicaragua's coast, Costa Rica selects as base points certain features in the vicinity of Punta Arranca Barba, Punta La Flor, Frailes Rocks and Punta Sucia. Costa Rica contends that there are no special circumstances justifying an adjustment of the provisional equidistance line drawn in the territorial sea. In particular, Costa Rica argues that the Santa Elena Peninsula could not be considered to have a distorting effect on the equidistance line in the territorial sea. Therefore, Costa Rica requests the Court to delimit the territorial sea in the Pacific Ocean in accordance with a strict equidistance line.
171.
Nicaragua agrees with Costa Rica on how to draw the provisional equidistance line in the territorial sea in the Pacific Ocean, which includes the selection of base points both on Costa Rica's coast and on its own coast. However, Nicaragua argues that the configuration of the coast in the immediate vicinity of Salinas Bay is a special circumstance requiring the Court to adjust the equidistance line in the territorial sea. Specifically, Nicaragua contends that the Santa Elena Peninsula has a distorting effect on the equidistance line, since, starting at the first turning point controlled by the base points on Punta Blanca, it markedly cuts off Nicaragua's coastal projections in the territorial sea. Consequently, Nicaragua requests the Court to adjust the equidistance line by discounting the base points on the Santa Elena Peninsula which would cause the boundary to deflect towards Nicaragua's coast.
172.
In accordance with its established jurisprudence, the Court will apply Article 15 of UNCLOS, quoted in paragraph 90 above, by first drawing a provisional median line, and subsequently considering whether special circumstances exist which justify its adjustment (see paragraph 98 above). The Court notes that Costa Rica drew straight baselines in the Pacific Ocean by promulgating Decree 18581-RE of 14 October 1988. Nicaragua does not object to the drawing of straight baselines by Costa Rica in the Pacific Ocean. However, Costa Rica has not relied on such straight baselines in the present proceedings.
173.
For the construction of the provisional median line in the present case, Costa Rica and Nicaragua selected the same base points, which are located on certain prominent features on their coasts (see paragraphs 170-171 above). The Court sees no reason to depart from the base points selected by both Parties. Therefore, for the purposes of drawing the provisional median line in the territorial sea, the Court will locate base points on certain features in the vicinity of Punta Zacate, Punta Descartes and Punta Blanca on Costa Rica's coast, and on certain features in the vicinity of Punta Arranca Barba, Punta La Flor, Frailes Rocks and Punta Sucia on Nicaragua's coast.
174.
However, the Parties differ on whether the configuration of the coast constitutes a special circumstance within the meaning of Article 15 of UNCLOS which would justify an adjustment of the provisional median line in the territorial sea. The issue is whether locating base points on the Santa Elena Peninsula has a significant distorting effect on the provisional median line which would result in a cut-off of Nicaragua's coastal projections within the territorial sea. As the Court has noted, "islets, rocks and minor coastal projections" can have a disproportionate effect on the median line (Maritime Delimitation and Territorial Questions between Qatar and Bahrain (Qatar v. Bahrain), Merits, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2001, p. 114, para. 246, citing Continental Shelf (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya/Malta), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1985, p. 48, para. 64, itself citing North Sea Continental Shelf (Federal Republic of Germany/Denmark; Federal Republic of Germany/Netherlands), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1969, p. 36, para. 57). Such an effect can call for an adjustment of the provisional median line in the territorial sea. In the vicinity of Salinas Bay, however, the Santa Elena Peninsula cannot be considered to be a minor coastal projection that has a disproportionate effect on the delimitation line. The coast of the Santa Elena Peninsula accounts for a large portion of Costa Rica's coast in the area in which the Court is requested to delimit the territorial sea. Moreover, the adjustment proposed by Nicaragua in the territorial sea would push the boundary close to Costa Rica's coast, thus significantly cutting off Costa Rica's coastal projections within the territorial sea.
175.
The Court concludes that the territorial sea in the Pacific Ocean shall be delimited between the Parties by means of a median line, starting at the midpoint of the closing line of Salinas Bay, having the co-ordinates identified in paragraph 169 above. The median line shall be drawn using the base points indicated in paragraph 173 above. The maritime boundary in the territorial sea shall follow a series of geodetic lines connecting the points having the following co-ordinates in WGS 84 datum:

Turning point Starting-point (SP) A B C D E F G H I J KLatitude north 11° 03' 56.3" 11° 03' 56.9" 11° 03' 57.4" 11° 03' 47.6" 11° 03' 53.7" 11° 03' 24.9" 11° 03' 18.5" 11° 02' 44.7" 11° 03' 13.3" 11° 04' 32.1" 11° 05' 12.9" 11° 05' 49.2"Longitude west 85° 44' 28.3" 85° 45' 22.7" 85° 45' 38.5" 85° 46' 34.1" 85° 47' 11.1" 85° 49' 40.8" 85° 50' 02.6" 85° 51' 24.8" 85° 52' 47.9" 85° 55' 41.4" 85° 57' 19.4" 86° 00' 39.0"

The boundary in the territorial sea shall terminate at point Kx (with current co-ordinates 11° 05' 49.5" N and 86° 01' 21.7" W), at the intersection of the 12-nautical-mile line with the geodetic line connecting point K with the first turning point on the provisional equidistance line in the exclusive economic zone, identified as point 1 and having the co-ordinates indicated at paragraph 188 below. The delimitation line is illustrated on sketch-map No. 15 below.

C. Delimitation of the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf

176.
The Court will now delimit the maritime boundary between the Parties for the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf in the Pacific Ocean according to its established methodology.

(a) Relevant coasts and relevant area

(i) Relevant coasts

177.
Costa Rica argues that the entire Nicaraguan coast, from Punta Arranca Barba to Punta Cosiguina, is relevant for the purposes of delimitation in the Pacific Ocean. Costa Rica also argues that its own relevant coast is divided into two parts. A first part extends from Punta Zacate down to Cabo Blanco on the Nicoya Peninsula, while a second part extends from Punta Herradura down to Punta Salsipuedes. Costa Rica measures the length of the proposed relevant coast both by following the natural configuration of the coast, and by using straight-line approximations of the coast. Applying the former method, Nicaragua's relevant coast would be 345 km long, and Costa Rica's would be 670 km long. Applying the latter method, Nicaragua's relevant coast would be 300 km long, and Costa Rica's would be 415 km long (see sketch-map No. 16 below).
178.
Nicaragua argues that its relevant coast in the Pacific Ocean runs from Punta La Flor on Salinas Bay to Corinto Point. Concerning Costa Rica's relevant coast, Nicaragua contends that it only comprises the coast running from Punta Zacate on Salinas Bay to Punta Guiones on the Nicoya Peninsula. Nicaragua measures the Parties' relevant coasts using straight-line approximations. Nicaragua argues that its relevant coast extends for 238 km, while Costa Rica's relevant coast extends for 144 km (see sketch-map No. 17 below).
179.
The Court recalls that in order to consider a coast to be relevant for the purposes of delimitation, it must generate projections which overlap with projections from the coast of the other party (see paragraph 108 above). Since in the Pacific Ocean the coast of Costa Rica is characterized by a certain degree of sinuosity, whereas the coast of Nicaragua largely develops along a straight line, the Court considers it appropriate to identify the relevant coast of both Parties by means of straight lines.
180.
The Court notes that the Parties' positions do not differ significantly with respect to the identification of Nicaragua's relevant coast. The Court finds that the entire Nicaraguan coast, from Punta Arranca Barba to Punta Cosiguina, generates potential maritime entitlements overlapping with those of Costa Rica. In the geographical circumstances of the present case, this conclusion does not change whether potential maritime entitlements are generated by the method of radial projections or by the method of frontal projections. The length of Nicaragua's relevant coast, thus identified and measured by the Court along a straight line, is 292.7 km long.
181.
The Parties' arguments concerning Costa Rica's relevant coast differ significantly. The Court is of the view that the coast of Costa Rica between Punta Guiones and Cabo Blanco, as well as between Punta Herradura and Punta Salsipuedes, generates potential maritime entitlements overlapping with those of the relevant coast of Nicaragua as identified in the previous paragraph. Under the circumstances, the Court finds it appropriate to include within the relevant coast certain parts of Costa Rica's coast south of Punta Guiones. Neither Party argued that the stretch of Costa Rica's coast running from Cabo Blanco due north-east into Nicoya Gulf and down to Punta Herradura should be included in the relevant coast. The Court notes that the coasts of Nicoya Gulf face each other and considers that they are not relevant for the purposes of delimitation. The Court concludes that the first segment of Costa Rica's relevant coast runs along the straight lines connecting Punta Zacate, Punta Santa Elena, Cabo Velas, Punta Guiones and Cabo Blanco. The second segment of Costa Rica's relevant coast runs along the straight lines connecting Punta Herradura, the Osa Peninsula, Punta Llorona and Punta Salsipuedes. Costa Rica's relevant coast, thus identified and measured by the Court along straight lines, is 416.4 km long (see sketch-map No. 18 below).

(ii) Relevant area

182.
Costa Rica argues that maritime areas should be considered to be relevant for the purposes of delimitation only if both Parties have a potential entitlement over such areas. According to Costa Rica, the identification of the relevant area need not be precise. Costa Rica identifies the relevant area by reference to radial coastal projections. The use of radial projections produces a relevant area enclosed within the envelope of arcs having a 200-nautical-mile radius identifying the area of overlapping potential entitlements between the Parties, and bordered in the north by a straight line starting at Punta Cosiguina and perpendicular to the direction of the Nicaraguan coast (see sketch-map No. 16 below).
183.
Nicaragua agrees with Costa Rica that the relevant area is identified by reference to the areas in which the potential maritime entitlements of the Parties overlap. However, Nicaragua argues that the relevant area should be identified by using frontal coastal projections. Accordingly, Nicaragua suggests that the relevant area should be enclosed by the 200-nautical-mile limits of the exclusive economic zones of the Parties in the west, by a line perpendicular to the general direction of Costa Rica's coast between Cabo Velas and Punta Guiones and starting at Punta Guiones in the south, and by a line perpendicular to the general direction of Nicaragua's coast starting from Corinto Point in the north (see sketch-map No. 17 below).
184.
The Court recalls that the relevant area, the identification of which is part of the established maritime delimitation methodology, includes the maritime spaces in which the potential entitlements generated by the coasts of the Parties overlap (see paragraphs 115-116 above). In the present case, the Court is of the view that both the potential maritime entitlements generated by the northern part of Costa Rica's relevant coast, and the potential maritime entitlements generated by the southern part of Costa Rica's relevant coast (paragraph 181 above), overlap with the potential maritime entitlements generated by the relevant coast of Nicaragua. The Court is also of the view that the relevant area is bordered in the north by a line starting at Punta Cosiguina and perpendicular to the straight line approximating the general direction of Nicaragua's coast (see paragraph 180 above). In the west and in the south, the relevant area is limited by the envelope of arcs marking the limits of the area in which the potential maritime entitlements of the Parties overlap.
185.
The coast extending from Cabo Blanco due north-east into Nicoya Gulf and down to Punta Herradura does not generate potential maritime entitlements overlapping with those generated by Nicaragua's coast. Therefore, the Court finds that the maritime area landward of the line joining Cabo Blanco to Punta Herradura and approximately corresponding to the waters of Nicoya Gulf is not part of the relevant area for the purposes of the delimitation. The relevant area thus identified measures approximately 164,500 sq km (see sketch-map No. 18 below).

(b) Provisional equidistance line

186.
In order to draw the provisional equidistance line in the exclusive economic zone and on the continental shelf, Costa Rica identifies on its own coast a number of base points on the Santa Elena Peninsula, located on the features called Punta Blanca and Punta Santa Elena. In addition, Costa Rica identifies one base point on the Nicoya Peninsula, located on Cabo Velas, which controls the provisional equidistance line starting at a point situated at approximately 120 nautical miles from the coast of the Parties. On Nicaragua's coast, Costa Rica identifies a number of base points in the vicinity of Punta Sucia, Punta Pie del Gigante and Punta Masachapa. Costa Rica submits that its provisional equidistance line and the Nicaraguan provisional equidistance line are not materially different.
187.
Nicaragua agrees that the base points selected by Costa Rica on the Nicaraguan coast faithfully reflect the macro-geography of the area. However, Nicaragua notes that, were it not for the existence of the Nicoya Peninsula, the provisional equidistance line would be essentially perpendicular to the general direction of the coast of the Parties. Nevertheless, Nicaragua's provisional equidistance line does not differ from that suggested by Costa Rica. Nicaragua notes that disagreements between the Parties on the maritime delimitation in the Pacific Ocean do not relate to the first stage of the delimitation process, which concerns the drawing of a provisional equidistance line.
188.
The Court is satisfied that the base points selected by the Parties are appropriate for drawing a provisional equidistance line in the Pacific Ocean. The provisional equidistance line for the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf shall begin at the end of the boundary in the territorial sea (see paragraph 175 above), and thence it shall follow a series of geodetic lines connecting the points having the following co-ordinates in WGS 84 datum:

Turning point Kx (endpoint of the delimitation of the territorial sea) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9Latitude north 11° 05' 49.5" 11° 05' 51.0" 11° 06' 18.2" 11° 05' 08.3" 11° 04' 26.2" 11° 03' 51.5" 10° 56' 41.7" 10° 50' 50.5" 10° 36' 27.5" 10° 21' 17.1"Longitude west 86° 01' 21.7" 86° 04' 44.7" 86° 07' 06.2" 86° 17' 40.0" 86° 21' 45.0" 86° 24' 18.7" 86° 45' 05.0" 86° 56' 32.2" 87° 23' 48.0" 87° 47' 54.5"

189.
From point 1 to point 8, the provisional equidistance line is controlled, on Costa Rica's side, by the base points located on the Santa Elena Peninsula. At point 9 the provisional equidistance line begins to be controlled by the base point located on Cabo Velas, on the Nicoya Peninsula. From point 9, the provisional equidistance line continues along the geodetic line starting at an azimuth of 245° 38' 27.4" until it reaches the 200-nautical-mile outer limit of the exclusive economic zone of the Parties (see sketch-map No. 19 below).

(c) Adjustment to the provisional equidistance line

190.
Costa Rica argues that the question whether it is necessary to adjust the provisional equidistance line should be assessed by reference to coastal geography. Costa Rica maintains that there is no relevant circumstance which could justify an adjustment of the provisional equidistance line in the Pacific Ocean. Costa Rica submits that the Santa Elena Peninsula and the Nicoya Peninsula are significant geographical features which are not capable of producing an inequitable effect by distorting the provisional equidistance line to the detriment of Nicaragua. Costa Rica asserts that the Nicoya Peninsula, which is an area of approximately 7,500 sq km and has approximately 264,000 inhabitants, is an example of a substantial geographical feature that cannot be refashioned by giving it less than full effect in establishing the maritime boundary between the Parties in the Pacific Ocean. Costa Rica also contends that the disparity between the length of the relevant coasts of the Parties is not sufficiently marked to require adjusting the provisional equidistance line, and that there is no coastal concavity that inequitably cuts off Nicaragua's coastal projections. Therefore, Costa Rica requests the Court to refrain from making any adjustment of the provisional equidistance line.
191.
Nicaragua agrees with Costa Rica that the relevant circumstances which might justify the adjustment of the provisional equidistance line could be generally geographical in character. Nicaragua contends that the provisional equidistance line in the Pacific Ocean produces a marked and unjustified cut-off of its coastal projections. According to Nicaragua, the direction of the coasts of the Santa Elena Peninsula and of the Nicoya Peninsula does not correspond to the general direction of Costa Rica's coast. Nicaragua considers that placing base points on these features leads to a provisional equidistance line which veers to the north, thus cutting off Nicaragua's coastal projections. Nicaragua argues that placing base points on the Santa Elena Peninsula and on the Nicoya Peninsula would excessively distort the provisional equidistance line were it not adjusted. Nicaragua contends that an equitable solution in respect of the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf could be achieved by giving half effect both to the Santa Elena Peninsula and to the Nicoya Peninsula.
192.
The arguments of the Parties concerning the adjustment of the provisional equidistance line pertain to two distinct issues: first, whether the existence of the Santa Elena Peninsula results in an inequitable cut-off of Nicaragua's coastal projections; second, whether the existence of the Nicoya Peninsula similarly creates an inequitable cut-off of Nicaragua's coastal projections.
193.
The Santa Elena Peninsula is a protrusion lying close to the starting-point of the maritime boundary between the Parties. The Court has already found that the effect produced by the Santa Elena Peninsula within the territorial sea does not justify an adjustment of the provisional median line within 12 nautical miles (see paragraph 174 above). However, the situation is different for the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf, for which the base points placed on the Santa Elena Peninsula control the course of the provisional equidistance line from the 12-nautical-mile limit of the territorial sea up to a point located approximately 120 nautical miles from the coasts of the Parties. The Court considers that such base points have a disproportionate effect on the direction of the provisional equidistance line. The Court also considers that, beyond the territorial sea, the effect of the Santa Elena Peninsula on the provisional equidistance line results in a significant cut-off of Nicaragua's coastal projections. In the view of the Court, this cut-off effect is inequitable.
194.
Therefore, the Court finds it appropriate to adjust the provisional equidistance line for the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf. In doing so, the Court is mindful of the requirement that delimitation in the exclusive economic zone and on the continental shelf shall "achieve an equitable solution" in accordance with Articles 74 and 83 of UNCLOS. The Court recalls that any adjustment effected to remedy an inequitable cut-off to the detriment of Nicaragua must not create an inequitable cut-off to the detriment of Costa Rica (see Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2012 (II), p. 704, para. 216). In the circumstances of the present case, the Court considers that an appropriate method to abate the cutoff of Nicaragua's coastal projections created by the presence of the Santa Elena Peninsula is to give half effect to that peninsula. In the view of the Court, this decision contributes to the achievement of an equitable solution.
195.
The Court recalls that the Nicoya Peninsula is a feature with a large landmass, corresponding to approximately one seventh of Costa Rica's territory, and with a large population (see paragraph 190 above). The coast of the Nicoya Peninsula accounts for a sizeable portion of the coast of Costa Rica in the area to be delimited and, as a consequence, its direction cannot be said to depart from the general direction of Costa Rica's coast. The Court has drawn the provisional equidistance line using Cabo Velas, located on the Nicoya Peninsula, as a base point. Cabo Velas controls the equidistance line for approximately 80 nautical miles, from a point located at approximately 120 nautical miles from the coast of the Parties to the endpoint of the maritime boundary in the Pacific Ocean (see paragraphs 188-189 above).
196.
In Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary in the Gulf of Maine Area (Canada/United States of America), the Chamber of the Court rejected proposals to give less than full effect to certain substantial mainland features. The Chamber stated that:

"the Parties have repeatedly charged each other with trying to refashion nature or geography in the case of this or that feature of the area. It is not possible to accept the United States claim that the south-westward protrusion of the Nova Scotian peninsula from the Chignectou isthmus is an anomaly, a geographical distortion to be treated as such, and to be considered an irregular derogation from the general south-south-west/north-north-east trend of the eastern seaboard of the North American Continent.

It is likewise not possible to accept Canada's claim that the existence of so substantial a peninsula as Cap[e] Cod may be ignored because it forms a salient on the Massachusetts coast on the western side of the Gulf of Maine. The Chamber must recall that the facts of geography are not the product of human action amenable to positive or negative judgment, but the result of natural phenomena, so that they can only be taken as they are." (Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1984, p. 271, para. 37.)

The Nicoya Peninsula is a prominent part of Costa Rica's mainland and is comparable to the Nova Scotian Peninsula or to Cape Cod; therefore, it cannot be given less than full effect in delimiting the boundary in the exclusive economic zone and on the continental shelf.

197.
Furthermore, it is well established that, in delimiting maritime boundaries, the Court cannot disregard the geographical realities of the case before it. In North Sea Continental Shelf (Federal Republic of Germany/Denmark; Federal Republic of Germany/Netherlands), the Court stated that:

"[e]quity does not necessarily imply equality. There can never be any question of completely refashioning nature, and equity does not require that a State without access to the sea should be allotted an area of continental shelf, any more than there could be a question of rendering the situation of a State with an extensive coastline similar to that of a State with a restricted coastline. Equality is to be reckoned within the same plane, and it is not such natural inequalities as these that equity could remedy." (Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1969, pp. 49-50, para. 91.)

198.
The Court considers that, in order to achieve an equitable solution, the provisional equidistance line must be adjusted by giving half effect to the Santa Elena Peninsula. Since placing base points on the Nicoya Peninsula does not lead to an inequitable solution, the Court also finds that no adjustment is necessary on account of the presence of the Nicoya Peninsula. The Court is of the view that its decision ensures the achievement of an equitable solution in accordance with Articles 74 and 83 of UNCLOS.
199.
In order to make this adjustment, the Court has drawn two lines, one giving full effect and one giving no effect to the Santa Elena Peninsula for the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf (see sketch-map No. 20 below). Both the full effect and the no effect lines start at the point at which the boundary in the territorial sea terminates (see paragraph 175 above). The line giving full effect to the Santa Elena Peninsula corresponds to the provisional equidistance line already drawn by the Court and described at paragraphs 188-189 above. The line giving no effect to the Santa Elena Peninsula is obtained by discounting the Costa Rican base points located on the Santa Elena Peninsula, while retaining the other base points on Costa Rica's coast. The Court has then drawn a line whose course lies midway between the full effect line and the no effect line, which corresponds to the provisional equidistance line adjusted to give half effect to the Santa Elena Peninsula.
200.
The Court concludes that the maritime boundary in the exclusive economic zone and on the continental shelf between Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the Pacific Ocean follows an equidistance line starting at the endpoint of the boundary in the territorial sea (point Kx described in paragraph 175 above), established using the base points mentioned in paragraphs 186-188 above, and subsequently adjusted as described in paragraphs 198-199 above. The maritime boundary in the exclusive economic zone and on the continental shelf shall therefore follow a series of geodetic lines connecting the points having the following co-ordinates in WGS 84 datum:

Turning point Kx (endpoint of the delimitation of the territorial sea) 1' 2' 3' 4' 5' 6' 7' 8' 9' 10' 11' 12' 13' 14' 15' 16' 17' 18' 19' 20' 21' 22' 23' 24' 9 (last turning point, same as last turning point on provisional equidistance line)Latitude north 11° 05' 49.5" 11° 04' 44.6" 11° 04' 42.6" 11° 04' 41.0" 11° 04' 11.6" 11° 00' 25.1" 10° 58' 53.3" 10° 57' 59.5" 10° 57' 30.0" 10° 56' 32.8" 10° 56' 30.5" 10° 54' 07.7" 10° 54' 03.9" 10° 53' 59.3" 10° 52' 07.4" 10° 47' 32.1" 10° 46' 31.9" 10° 46' 27.7" 10° 46' 23.5" 10° 42' 27.4" 10° 34' 41.9" 10° 30' 50.2" 10° 30' 48.6" 10° 30' 47.6" 10° 28' 13.7" 10° 21' 17.1"Longitude west 86° 01' 21.7" 86° 04' 45.2" 86° 04' 52.0" 86° 04' 58.5" 86° 07' 11.4" 86° 16' 59.0" 86° 20' 37.2" 86° 22' 36.3" 86° 23' 33.0" 86° 27' 24.2" 86° 27' 33.0" 86° 36' 39.6" 86° 36' 53.4" 86° 37' 08.7" 86° 43' 05.5" 86° 54' 46.9" 86° 57' 17.5" 86° 57' 27.6" 86° 57' 37.2" 87° 06' 09.7" 87° 22' 45.7" 87° 30' 16.1" 87° 30' 19.2" 87° 30' 20.9" 87° 34' 56.4" 87° 47' 54.5"

From point 9, the adjusted line continues along the geodetic line starting at an azimuth of 245° 38' 27.4" until it reaches the 200-nautical-mile outer limits of the exclusive economic zones of the Parties (see sketch-map No. 20 below).

201.
Given the complexity of the line described in the previous paragraph, the Court considers it more appropriate to adopt a simplified line, on the basis of the most significant turning points on the adjusted equidistance line, which indicate a change in the direction of that line. The resulting simplified line is composed of the points with the following co-ordinates in WGS 84 datum:

Turning point Kx (endpoint of the delimitation of the territorial sea) L M N O P Q R SLatitude north 11° 05' 49.5" 11° 04' 11.6" 11° 00' 25.1" 10° 57' 30.0" 10° 54' 03.9" 10° 52' 07.4" 10° 46' 27.7" 10° 34' 41.9" 10° 21' 17.1"Longitude west 86° 01' 21.7" 86° 07' 11.4" 86° 16' 59.0" 86° 23' 33.0" 86° 36' 53.4" 86° 43' 05.5" 86° 57' 27.6" 87° 22' 45.7" 87° 47' 54.5"

From point S, the delimitation line continues along the geodetic line starting at an azimuth of 245° 38' 27.4" until it reaches the 200-nautical-mile line (see sketch-map No. 21 below).

(d) Disproportionality test

202.
The Court now turns to the disproportionality test, which is the third stage of the methodology for the delimitation of maritime boundaries in the exclusive economic zone and on the continental shelf (see paragraphs 159-161 above).
203.
The relevant coast of Costa Rica in the Pacific Ocean is 416.4 km long (see paragraph 181 above), and the relevant coast of Nicaragua in the Pacific Ocean is 292.7 km long (see paragraph 180 above). The two relevant coasts stand in a ratio of 1:1.42 in favour of Costa Rica. The Court finds that the maritime boundary it established between the Parties in the Pacific Ocean divides the relevant area (see paragraphs 184-185 above) in such a way that approximately 93,000 sq km of that area appertain to Costa Rica and 71,500 sq km of that area appertain to Nicaragua. The ratio between the maritime areas found to appertain to the Parties is 1:1.30 in Costa Rica's favour. The Court considers that, taking into account all the circumstances of the present case, the maritime boundary established between Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the Pacific Ocean does not result in gross disproportionality. Accordingly, the Court finds that the delimitation of the maritime boundary for the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf (see paragraph 201 above) achieves an equitable solution in accordance with Articles 74 and 83 of UNCLOS.
204.
Consequently, the delimitation concerning the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf between the Parties in the Pacific Ocean shall follow the line described in paragraph 201 above.

For these reasons, 

205.

THE COURT,

(1) By fifteen votes to one,

Finds that the Republic of Nicaragua's claim concerning sovereignty over the northern coast of Isla Portillos is admissible;

IN FAVOUR: President Abraham; Vice-President Yusuf; Judges Owada, Tomka, Bennouna, Cancado Trindade, Greenwood, Xue, Donoghue, Gaja, Sebutinde, Bhandari, Gevorgian; Judges ad hoc Simma, Al-Khasawneh;

AGAINST: Judge Robinson;

(2) By fourteen votes to two,

Finds that the Republic of Costa Rica has sovereignty over the whole northern part of Isla Portillos, including its coast up to the point at which the right bank of the San Juan River reaches the low-water mark of the coast of the Caribbean Sea, with the exception of Harbor Head Lagoon and the sandbar separating it from the Caribbean Sea, sovereignty over which appertains to Nicaragua within the boundary defined in paragraph 73 of the present Judgment;

IN FAVOUR: President Abraham; Vice-President Yusuf; Judges Owada, Tomka, Bennouna, Cancado Trindade, Greenwood, Xue, Donoghue, Gaja, Sebutinde, Bhandari, Robinson; Judge ad hoc Simma;

AGAINST: Judge Gevorgian; Judge ad hoc Al-Khasawneh;

(3) (a) By fourteen votes to two,

Finds that, by establishing and maintaining a military camp on Costa Rican territory, the Republic of Nicaragua has violated the sovereignty of the Republic of Costa Rica;

IN FAVOUR: President Abraham; Vice-President Yusuf; Judges Owada, Tomka, Bennouna, Cancado Trindade, Greenwood, Xue, Donoghue, Gaja, Sebutinde, Bhandari, Robinson; Judge ad hoc Simma;

AGAINST: Judge Gevorgian; Judge ad hoc Al-Khasawneh;

(b) Unanimously,

Finds that the Republic of Nicaragua must remove its military camp from Costa Rican territory;

(4) Unanimously,

Decides that the maritime boundary between the Republic of Costa Rica and the Republic of Nicaragua in the Caribbean Sea shall follow the course set out in paragraphs 106 and 158 of the present Judgment;

(5) Unanimously,

Decides that the maritime boundary between the Republic of Costa Rica and the Republic of Nicaragua in the Pacific Ocean shall follow the course set out in paragraphs 175 and 201 of the present Judgment.

Done in English and in French, the English text being authoritative, at the Peace Palace, The Hague, this second day of February, two thousand and eighteen, in three copies, one of which will be placed in the archives of the Court and the others transmitted to the Government of the Republic of Costa Rica and the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua, respectively.

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