The of freedom which exist in the case. Judges

The Chamber for this judgement composed by Judge Mohammed Bedjaoui, Judges Manfred Lachs and José Maria Ruda and Judges ad hoc Francois Luçhaire and Georges Abi-Saab. In its judgment, the Chamber constituted by the Court in the case of the Frontier Dispute between Burkina Faso and the Republic of Mali, unanimously adopted the line of the frontier in the area in dispute between the two States.  Judge Luçhaire voted for the operative provisions of the Judgement because they were founded upon reasoning of which the logic is unquestionable but he does not fully endorse some of its aspects or conclusions. He has commented on the parts of principle of the right of peoples to self-determination and acquiescence. Although he voted for the operative provisions of the judgement, Judge Abi-Saab cannot endorse certain aspects of either the Chamber’s reasoning or its conclusions. Having emphasized the difficulties which sometimes arise in applying the principle of uti possidetis, the Chamber has adopted a possible legal solution within the bounds of the degrees of freedom which exist in the case. Judges ad hoc Francois Luçhaire and Georges Abi-Saab appended separate opinions to the judgement. In these opinions, the judges concerned stated and explained the positions they adopted in regard to certain points dealt with in the Judgment. Firstly, it is the procedure that the Chamber recapitulates the successive phases of the procedure as from the notification to the Registrar of the Special Agreement concluded on 16 September 1983 between the Republic of Upper Volta (known as Burkina Faso since 4 August 1984) and the Republic of Mali, by which those two States agreed to submit to a chamber of the Court a dispute relating to the delimitation of a part of their common frontier. The task of the Chamber is to indicate the line of the frontier between Burkina Faso and the Republic of Mali in the disputed area which is defined by Article I of the Special Agreement as consisting of “a band of territory extending from the sector Koro (Mali) Djibo (Upper Volta) up to and including the region of the Béli”.  Both States have indicated in their submissions to the Chamber, the frontier line which each of them considers to be well-founded in law. These lines are shown on sketch-map No. 1 in the Judgment. The rules applicable to the case in which the source of the rights claimed by the parties that is the principle of the intangibility of frontiers inherited from colonization. The Judgment considers the question of the rules applicable to the case and seeks to ascertain the source of the rights claimed by the parties. It begins by noting that the characteristic feature of the legal context of the frontier determination to be undertaken by the Chamber is that both States involved derive their existence from the process of decolonization which has been unfolding in Africa during the past 30 years. It can be said that Burkina Faso corresponds to the colony of Upper Volta and the Republic of Mali to the colony of Sudan (formerly French Sudan).  In the preamble to their Special Agreement, the Parties stated that the settlement of the dispute should be “based in particular on respect for the principle of the intangibility of frontiers inherited from colonization”, which recalls the principle expressly stated in resolution AGH/Res. 16 (I) adopted in Cairo in July 1964 at the first summit conference following the creation of the Organization of African Unity, whereby all1 member States “solemnly . . . pledge themselves to respect the frontiers existing on their achievement of national independence”.  Next, the principle of uti possidetis juris. In these circumstances, the Chamber cannot disregard the principle of uti possidetis juris which cause the application gives rise to this respect for intangibility of frontiers. It emphasizes the general scope of the principle in matters of decolonization and its exceptional importance for the African continent, including the two Parties to this case. Although this principle was invoked for the first time in Spanish America, it is not a rule pertaining solely to one specific system of international law. It is a principle of general scope, logically connected with the phenomenon of the obtaining of independence wherever it occurs. It obvious purpose is to prevent the independence and stability of new States being endangered by fratricidal struggles provoked by the challenging of frontiers following the withdrawal of the administering power. The fact that the new African States have respected the territorial status quo which existed when they obtained independence must therefore be seen not as a mere practice but the application in Africa of a rule of general scope which is firmly established in matters of decolonization and the Chamber does not find it necessary to demonstrate this for the purposes of the case.