Example of written responses to the ICJ in contentious proceedings between States
In the first part of this paper we will examine the source of the rights that France claims to have for the application of this procedure. In the second part, we will go through the activities that are the reason for the debate about Antarctica Gorfouland
The third part of this paper will look at the irreparable damage caused by the activities mentioned above.
France answers the questions put to it by the International Court of Justice:
1) Answer to the Court’s question about the sources for the rights that France claims to have in the proceedings - France v. Gorfouland
The sources of the rights must be distinguished at each point.
Regarding the activities of GPC, the French Republic reiterated that the Gorfouland is responsible for such activities under the customary law that has been stated in Article 8 of the 2001 Project of the International Law Commission. The GPC has violated the fundamental principles of the international environmental law by carrying out activities such as fishing, tourism, excavation etc.
With regard to the violations of sovereignty by the French Gorfouland (Island of Carpe Diem), they state that the French Republic is based on the Washington Treaty on Antarctica, which prohibits any attempt to annex territory in the Antarctic region. The Gorfouland had no right to annex the island because annexations are violations of the principle of sovereign equality among States, as laid down in Article 2, paragraph 1, of the UN Charter.
Finally on the principle of prohibition of threats or the use of force - the use of force is obvious (see the interpretations of the term "violence" in the case concerning the "military and paramilitary activities in Nicaragua,” Nicaragua v. United States, May 10, 1984) and is strictly prohibited by Article 2, paragraph 4, of the UN Charter.
Having clarified the sources of the alleged rights, the French Republic requests the Court to consider all the elements put forward during the procedure and to state the precautionary measures that have been expressed in the French application.
2) Response to the Court’s apprehension to their activities:
The response will focus on the dispute that is related to the activities that have been taking place in Antarctica since 1998. The activities in Gorfouland that are of a military nature –i.e. escort missions with armed GPC and frequent passages of warships to the Antarctic area that is under the sovereignty of the French Republic - that have been taking place since 1998 are constitutive of internationally wrongful acts. These activities are in violation of territorial integrity and the French are going against the principle that prohibits threats or use of force, as set out in Article 2 and 4 of the UN Charter.
Tourism activities GPC - tours and helicopter flights to view specially protected islands began in 2003 and have continued till today. These acts also violate territorial integrity and the French are violating the customary principles of the Antarctic system as well as the international environmental law.
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