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All of Ghana's oil concessions are protected under ITLOS ruling

By Muhammed Ali
Ghana's delegation to ITLOS

The ruling of the International Tribunal for the law of the Sea, ITLOS, protects all of Ghana's current oil concessions according to experts.

The Special Chamber of the International Tribunal constituted to deal with the Dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire in the Atlantic Ocean (Ghana/Côte d'Ivoire), on Satruday delivered its ruling

Read also: Summary of ITLOS ruling on territorial dispute between Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire

The ruling among others rejected Côte d’Ivoire’s claim alleging violation of the Special Chamber’s Order of 25 April 2015, and  Côte d’Ivoire’s claim alleging violation of Article 83 of UNCLOS and Côte d’Ivoire’s sovereign right.

Speaking after the ruling on a news analysis program, a member of Ghana's legal team and Lecturer of the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, Godwin Dzokoto said the outcome of events represents a victory to Ghana's position on the disputed boundaries.

According to him the country by the ruling gets to maintain and keep all its oil concessions, explored and unexplored.

find below a summary of the ruling

Judge Boualem Bouguetaia, President of the Special Chamber in its ruling finds that Ghana did not violate the sovereign rights of Côte d’Ivoire.

Again  the court finds  that Ghana did not violate article 83, paragraphs 1 and 3, of the Convention neither did it violate the provisional measures prescribed by the Special Chamber in its Order of 25 April 2015.” 

In its Judgment of 23 September2017, the Special Chamber decided as follows:  

(1) Unanimously, Finds that it has jurisdiction to delimit the maritime boundary between the Parties in the territorial sea, in the exclusive economic zone and on the continental shelf, both within and beyond 200 nm. 

(2) Unanimously, 
Finds that there is no tacit agreement between the Parties to delimit their territorial sea, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf both within and beyond 200 nm, and rejects Ghana’s claim that Côte d’Ivoire is estopped from objecting to the “customary equidistance boundary”. 

Unanimously, decides that the single maritime boundary for the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf within and beyond 200 nm starts at BP 55+ with the coordinates 05° 05’ 23.2” N, 03° 06’ 21.2’’ W in WGS 84 as a geodetic datum

Unanimously,finds that it has jurisdiction to decide on the claim of Côte d’Ivoire against Ghana on the alleged international responsibility of Ghana. 

Unanimously,finds that Ghana did not violate the sovereign rights of Côte d’Ivoire. 

Unanimously, finds that Ghana did not violate article 83, paragraphs 1 and 3, of the Convention.  

Unanimously, finds that Ghana did not violate the provisional measures prescribed by the Special Chamber in its Order of 25 April 2015.”