Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ICJ set for border case; verdict will take time

ICJ set for border case; verdict will take time

ICJ set for border case; verdict will take time

A final ruling on the government’s request that the International Court of Justice reinterpret its 1962 judgment on Preah Vihear temple could take “years”, an ICJ official said yesterday, though a provisional ruling requiring that troops withdraw from the area could be issued within a few weeks.

Last week, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong travelled to The Hague, where he submitted the request to the ICJ for the judgment’s reinterpretation.

The ICJ is an arm of the United Nations that handles disputes between states. Its 1962 judgment handed sovereignty of Preah Vihear to Cambodia, though conflict with Thailand in the area has continued due to competing claims over an adjacent, 4.6-square-kilometre patch of territory.

Cambodia’s request to the ICJ has two components, according to case documents posted to the ICJ’s website on Monday.

One is a request for the court to order “provisional measures” including “an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all Thai forces from those parts of Cambodian territory situated in the area of the Temple of Preah Vihear” and “a ban on all military activity by Thailand in the area”.

Second, the government has called for an interpretation of the “meaning” and “scope” of the 1962 judgment as it relates to the boundary between Thailand and Cambodia.

Kingdom officials marked their request “urgent”, and Andrey Poskakukhin, head of the information department at the ICJ, said yesterday that the court “will deal with and consider this case as soon as possible”.

“For the provisional measures, it will be quick – a matter of weeks or a couple of months,” he said. “But for the interpretation on the merits of the case, the interpretation can take years.”

In ruling on both the requested provisional measures and on the reinterpretation of the judgment, Poskakukhin said, the ICJ will accept written pleadings from the parties prior to holding public hearings. The ICJ does not itself have the power to enforce its judgments, he added, though parties to its cases can appeal for assistance to the UN Security Council.

With peace talks with Thailand making little progress, Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said yesterday that the Kingdom hoped the ICJ would provide “the peaceful and the final solution to the border issues”.

The Thai government, which has continually opposed third-party involvement in the dispute, said last week that it “regrets” the Cambodia’s appeal to the ICJ but is prepared to fight the case.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Monks given ‘Samdech’ title for contributions

    Three senior monks on Thursday were given the highest-ranking title “samdech”, with Prime Minister Hun Sen saying that the promotions were due to their contributions to Buddhism. The three distinguished monks were promoted on Thursday morning at Botum Vatey pagoda in Phnom Penh, at a

  • Facing possible sanctions, PM criticises Washington’s rights record

    While United States congressmen are discussing the Cambodia Democracy Act and an amendment that could impose more sanctions against Cambodia’s government, Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday counterattacked by questioning the respect of human rights and democracy under the US-backed Lon Nol regime, and