Argentina

Argentina takes US to ICJ over default


Published

Argentina’s government has filed legal proceedings against the United States in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) following the country’s $1.5 billion default last month saying that the US Government has violated its sovereignty.

The unofficial press release from the court reads “The Argentine Republic contends that the United States of America has committed violations of Argentine sovereignty and immunities and other related violations as a result of judicial decisions adopted by US tribunals concerning the restructuring of the Argentine public debt”.

The full text of the ‘unofficial’ press release as published on the International Court of justice website is as follows:

“Press Release

No. 2014/25

7 August 2014

The Argentine Republic seeks to institute proceedings against the United States of America before the International Court of Justice. It requests US to accept the Court’s jurisdiction.

THE HAGUE, 7 August 2014. The Argentine Republic filed today in the Registry of the International Court of Justice a document, dated 7 August 2014, entitled “Application instituting proceedings” against the United States of America, regarding a “Dispute concerning judicial decisions of the United States of America relating to the restructuring of the Argentine sovereign debt”.

The Argentine Republic contends that the United States of America has committed violations of Argentine sovereignty and immunities and other related violations as a result of judicial decisions adopted by US tribunals concerning the restructuring of the Argentine public debt.

The Argentine Republic “seeks to found the jurisdiction of the Court on the basis of Article 38, paragraph 5, of the Rules of Court”. Under that Article:

“When the applicant State proposes to found the jurisdiction of the Court upon a consent thereto yet to be given or manifested by the State against which such application is made, the application shall be transmitted to that State. It shall not however be entered in the General List, nor any action be taken in the proceedings, unless and until the State against which such application is made consents to the Court’s jurisdiction for the purposes of the case.”

In accordance with Article 38, paragraph 5, of the Rules of Court, the Application by the Argentine Republic has been transmitted to the US Government. However, no action will be taken in the proceedings unless and until the United States of America consents to the Court’s jurisdiction in the case.
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Note: The Court’s press releases are drafted by the Registry for information purposes only and do not constitute official documents.
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The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It was established by the United Nations Charter in June 1945 and began its activities in April 1946. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York. The Court has a twofold role: first, to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States (its judgments have binding force and are without appeal for the parties concerned); and, second, to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized United Nations organs and agencies of the system. The Court is composed of 15 judges elected for a nine-year term by the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations. Independent of the United Nations Secretariat, it is assisted by a Registry, its own international secretariat, whose activities are both judicial and diplomatic, as well as administrative. The official languages of the Court are French and English. Also known as the “World Court”, it is the only court of a universal character with general jurisdiction.

The ICJ, a court open only to States for contentious proceedings, and to certain organs and institutions of the United Nations system for advisory proceedings, should not be confused with the other – mostly criminal – judicial institutions based in The Hague and adjacent areas, such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY, an ad hoc court created by the Security Council), the International Criminal Court (ICC, the first permanent international criminal court, established by treaty, which does not belong to the United Nations system), the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL, an independent judicial body composed of Lebanese and international judges, which is not a United Nations tribunal and does not form part of the Lebanese judicial system), or the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA, an independent institution which assists in the establishment of arbitral tribunals and facilitates their work, in accordance with the Hague Convention of 1899).”

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