The immediate past Attorney General, Marietta Brew Appiah Oppong and the current Attorney General, Gloria Akufo are currently at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) to represent the country at the public hearing in the dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire in the Atlantic Ocean.

The two are leading a team of legal experts who are currently giving oral submissions on the Ghanaian stance on the case. The oral arguments commenced on Monday, 6th February, 2017.

Background of the case

The dispute was submitted by way of special agreement between the two States concerned to a special chamber of the Tribunal, formed in application of article 15, paragraph 2, of the Statute by Order of the Tribunal dated 12 January 2015.

The Special ITLOS/Press 256 16 January 2017 2 Chamber consists of Vice-President Bouguetaia (Algeria), Judges Wolfrum (Germany) and Paik (Republic of Korea) and Judges ad hoc Thomas Mensah (Ghana) and Ronny Abraham (France). Vice-President Bouguetaia presides over the Chamber.

On 27 February 2015, Côte d’Ivoire submitted a request for the prescription of provisional measures under article 290, paragraph 1, of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, requesting the Chamber to order that Ghana shall, inter alia, “take all steps to suspend all oil exploration and exploitation operations under way in the disputed area”.

The Special Chamber delivered its Order on the Request on 25 April 2015, in which, inter alia, it considered appropriate to “order Ghana to take all the necessary steps to ensure that no new drilling either by Ghana or under its control takes place in the disputed area”.

The Chamber will hear the merits of the case during the upcoming oral proceedings.

These have been preceded by the filing by both Parties of their written pleadings within the time-limits fixed by Orders of the President of the Chamber.

The hearing is taking place in the main courtroom of the Tribunal and is open to the public. Members of the diplomatic and consular corps wishing to attend the hearing have been requested to contact the Tribunal’s Protocol Office.

Members of the general public are welcome to attend and are requested to register in advance with the Press Office. Members of the press are requested to register in advance with the Press.

The sittings is also broadcast live on the website. A recorded webcast will be made available under Webcast Archives after the close of each sitting. The verbatim records of the hearing will be published shortly thereafter on the website of the Tribunal.