Precarious Finality? Reflections on Res Judicata in the Question of the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf Case

Niccolò Ridi, Precarious Finality? Reflections on Res Judicata in the Question of the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf Case (2018) Leiden Journal of International Law

King's College London Law School Research Paper No. 2018-02

23 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2017 Last revised: 28 Jan 2018

See all articles by Niccolò Ridi

Niccolò Ridi

King’s College London, Dickson Poon School of Law; Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID); University of Liverpool School of Law and Social Justice

Date Written: June 15, 2017

Abstract

This article considers the approach to the res judicata principle taken by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and, specifically, its application in its 2016 judgment on preliminary objections in the latest dispute between Nicaragua and Colombia. The judgment joins the small number of ICJ decisions in which the Court was evenly split, an altogether rare situation, which, at the time of the decision, had not occurred since the Nuclear Weapons Avisory Opinion. Intriguingly, such a fracture seems to have been prompted by differences over the operation of a procedural principle the understanding of which is comparatively uncontroversial. Upon closer analysis, however, the disagreement reveals that more significant questions were at stake, with members of the minority issuing a vocal joint dissent and several individual declarations. This study will move in three parts: first, it will provide an overview of the nature and purpose of the principle of res judicata, its application in international adjudication, and its use by the ICJ; second, it will analyse the Court’s reading of the principle in the case at issue; third, it will expose the broader implications of one such approach for the role and authority of the World Court and the international judiciary.

Keywords: Res judicata; International Court of Justice; scope of judgments; judicial function; issue estoppel

JEL Classification: K33, K40, K41

Suggested Citation

Ridi, Niccolò, Precarious Finality? Reflections on Res Judicata in the Question of the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf Case (June 15, 2017). Niccolò Ridi, Precarious Finality? Reflections on Res Judicata in the Question of the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf Case (2018) Leiden Journal of International Law; King's College London Law School Research Paper No. 2018-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3086773

Niccolò Ridi (Contact Author)

King’s College London, Dickson Poon School of Law ( email )

Strand
United Kingdom

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) ( email )

PO Box 136
Geneva, CH-1211
Switzerland

University of Liverpool School of Law and Social Justice ( email )

Liverpool
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/law/staff/niccolo-ridi/

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