International Court Of Justice And Administration Of Conflict Resolution

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International Court Of Justice And Administration Of Conflict Resolution


This study sketches a conceptual framework of international conflict dynamics and resolution, examines the geopolitics of the Bakassi dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon, and outlines socio-economic implications of its peaceful settlement. Neglect and subsequent discovery of oil deposits subjected the Bakassi Peninsula to claims and counter-claims for sovereignty, military occupation and recourse to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ’s ruling in 2002 in favour of Cameroon, although based on sound historical evidence, faced implementation difficulties. However, following mediation by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, good faith by protagonists, the Green-tree Agreement and subsequent instruments, Nigeria completed the withdrawal of its military, police and administration from the Bakassi Peninsula by 14 August 2008. Putting aside disruptive activities by social movements, the entire process could be viewed as a model in peaceful resolution of border conflicts. Implications of the settlement anchor on expenditure-reducing and expenditure-switching effects, wealth-generating effects, and enhanced cross-border activities. Infrastructural developments and effective presence are considered essential elements in border management policies.

Chapter One


It is now widely recognized that peaceful settlement of dispute within the framework of the united nations charter requires an intergrated and coordinated approach, combining more than one category of strategies of dispute settlement. A welcome development, in this regard, is the increasing resources to the international court of justice parallel to the methods of dispute resolution, there by emphasizing the role of the court in the UN system for matainance of international peace and security and peaceful settlement of dispute1?.

The ICJ is no longer seen sold as the last resort in the resolution of the dispute and states may have resources to the court in appeal and that such resource may complement the work of the security council and the general assemble as well as bilateral negotiations. Indeed, one of the most common instrument used by the international law. Has always considered its fundamental purpose to be the maintenance peace2. Although ethical preoccupations stimulated its development and inform it’s growth, international law has historically been regarded by the international community primary as a means to ensure the establishment and preservation of world peace and security.

Basically, the techniques of conflict management fall into two categories: Diplomatic procedures and adjudication3 the former involves an attempt to resolves an attempts to resolves differences either by the contending parties themselves or with the aid of other entities by the use of the discussion and the fact finding method. Adjudication procedure involve the determination by disinterested third party of the legal and factual issue involved either by arbitration or by the decision of judicial organs.

Thus one of the cardinal purpose and principle of present international relations is to maintain international peace and security. Then too, take effective collective measure for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace and for the suppression of facts of aggression or other branch each of the peace.

And to bring about peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international dispute or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace4 to this effect, the international court of justice play a crucial role.

Therefore like every other court, the international court of justice work with the available facts tabled before it. Submitted by state(regions of the world and different legal system, covering a wide range of matters) is a positive reflection of the court’s general jurisdiction open to all the confidence and recognition the court enjoys as the organizational principal judical organs5 the practical example of this was demonstrated in the Bakassi Peninsula dispute settlement. The court in adjudicating the case began by reciting the history of the proceeding and submission of the parties although, settlement of the dispute was controversial. To sum analysis it was politically judged not with standing the fact must presented to her. However the judgment of the court over made use of the facts presented to her. However, the of the judgment of the court over the Bakassi Peninsula is not to be final, as the security council still has all the right to look into the judgment of the ICJ and draw the final conclusion. As noted by Adabeyo Adeolu.

“Bakassi belongs to Nigeria and the United Nations security council must look into the matter and return the region Nigeria7”

One also would not deny the fact the court’s administration of justice could be politically masterminded, since it is the world-body’s justice centre, in which the international system is politically oriented. Hence if actors must have their way, they would follow the path of sult.

Although, the Bakassi Peninsula dispute settlement by the ICJ, may be adjudged political but the turism of which shall be revealed in the course of this research in outlining the activities of the ICJ and the settlement of the peninsula would unveil some facts.

Objectives of the Study

This work explore how international court of justice(ICJ) resolves and administer justice in the Bakassi Peninsula, and the determination of legal titles over the Bakassi Peninsula dispute settlement, given by various claimants it examines implicitly, procedures for resolving protracted(boarder dispute between nations and how the different sources of international contributes to the judgment before the court. Disputes are form unresolved conflict-especially when parties involved are unable to arrive at private settlement on a dyadic basis. This work high lights the centre role of international customary law in the determinating legal title of territory in boarder dispute between Nigeria and Cameron –indeed, the statement of the problem in the adjudication, the judgment and the control versies of the peninsula is as follows.

Firstly did the ICJ conduct plebiscite among the people of Bakassi Peninsula in Nigeria before the final judgment.

Secondly, what were the yardsticks used in acceding the area to Cameroon.

Thirdly, why did Nigeria government fail to appeal against the judgment during the five years of transition programme of the Peninsula.

These among other questions are what prompted the study of this topic which tends to proffer answer to the above questions.

Scope of the Study

The study covers between 1945 and 2002 the year 1945 was the starting period when the United Nations organization was formed, and its agencies, one of which is the international court of justice was set up at Hague to adjudicate international disputes. The terminal date 2002 was the period Nigeria completed the withdrawal of their troops from Bakasi region.

Research Methodology

The Bakassi peninsula dispute settlement remain one the most controversial of international boundary dispute ever treated by the international court of justice(ICJ) controversial to the extent that it involved a lot of political, social legal and historical unveiling issues.

Therefore the work aimed at examining international conflict dynamics and resolution in the geopolitics of the Bakassi Peninsula dispute settlement between Nigeria and Cameroon. The work would be of great important to international communities, world teachers diplomats as well as student of law, and history, international relations and the general public

It showcases possibility of peaceful settlement of international dispute.

Literature Review

Many existing work on international court and administration of justice with particular refrences to the case study of Bakassi Peninsula dispute settlement provide a foundation on which the present study is based. Thus, for proper presentations, we shall review some literatures relevant include Malcolm N. Shaw’s work titled international law8, he appraised in detail the settlement of disputes by peaceful means, which in reality provides to the work the fundamentals of peaceful settlement in his book Dan O. Anumba’s international law an introduction9 he discussed critically the statute of international court of justice, which fid this work in its quest to make the understanding the ICJ easier. Also Gbenga Oduntun: the law and practice of international court of justice (1945-1996). A critique of the contention and Advisory Jurisdiction 10 unvilled to the work the proper understanding of the advisory jurisdiction of the icy in dispute settlement in his book titled introduction of international law11” U.O Umozuluke, enlightened this work further in the modus operandi in peaceful settlement of international dispute. The above literatures discuss extensively a major theme in international court and administrative of justice.

Not, surprisingly, these work of the court’s administration of justice globally, the contentious jurisdiction to the court to global justice description of the court’s itself, peaceful settlement etc to this extent, they appear to reflect exactly the concept stated in the title of this work.

However, as fantastic as their work may appear they remain deficient in some aspect as they tend to reflect mainly in international system of law and failed to put into consideration the laws and various states as it constitutes the basis or foundation to international law.

Other literature relevant to this study includes John Akokpari etel the African union and its institutions12 which aided in sharpening the knowledge of this work in regional responsibility of dispute settlement. Lawrence ziring etel work titled the United Nations international organization and world politices13 provided to this work the procedures for setting international disputes in concordance with Article 33 paragraph 1 of the United Nations charter R.T Akinyel’s edited book; Borderland and African integration14, briefly explained issues in African borderlands indeld, as relevant as they are in widening the frontiers of knowledge their work were only confined to description and narratives without critical analysis of the subject matter.

Further more, related literatures include Adebayo Adeolu book titled Fraud at the Hague Bakassi15 why the Nigeria bakassi territory was corded to Cameroon; it unveiled to this work the politics behind the judgment of ICJ over the Bakassi Pennisula dispute settlement which formed a perfect knowledge needed for the critique here in A.I Asiwa Ju edited work peaceful resolution of African boundary conflict, gave a conceptual framework of the Bakassi Peninsula boundary dispute also A.I Asiwaju book titled partitioned African ethnic relations across African international boundaries 1884-1885 “briefly outline the cultural affinity that those residing in the dispute Bakassi Pennisula RT Akinyole book titled contemporary issues in boundaries and governance in Nigeria 17 undertook a discourse of the case, judgment and controversial issue involved in the bakassi peninsula question. Indeed, these literatures review provide a conceptual framework over the Bakassi Peninsula dispute settlement that aided in getualizing the main concept of this book.

However, some of them made an attempt to share the balance view point of the case in their analysis from both country’s involvement while some such as Adebayo Adeolu was sentimental in talking side with Nigeria over the dispute.

In addition, Nicholas K Terlebbea and Sam Baroni, in the their articles titled “the Cameroon and Nigeria negotiated process of the contested all rich Bakassi Pernnissula18 critically analyzed the historical background of the conflicts and the border skirmishes that occurred between Nigeria and Cameroon. Which in turn provided it as a gift to this work in tracing the origin and outlining the boarder clashes between the two countries over the dispute. Also LEO Otoide emerging thought on the historiography of Nigeria eastern international boundary 19 unvilied the cunning nature in which the whites divided the African territory and created border conflict after their departure, which is provided to this work in the words of Capitan MV Nugent. In this article, Babatola, Jadesola ET, Nigeria Cameroon boundary dispute20, the quest for Bakasi Peninsula, he attempted a critique of the question over the Bakassi Peninsula dispute, which heired conclude the critique in this work.

Indeed, the most significant future in these literatures, is the modus operandi proffered in the peaceful settlement of the Bakassi Peninsula disputes by the ICJ.

Above all the deficiencies of these work are fairly shared. In this regard, no particular work attempts a through compendium review of international court and administration of justice a case of Bakassi Peninsula dispute settlement. It is therefore this obvious gap or loopholes that this research work tends to till up. Therefore, both the above reviewed yet used (including internet materials sources)from the bits and pieces of this re search works.

Chapter Five


The Bakassi land and maritime conflict is but the latest illustration of the irrationality of colonially demarcated national borders that were not based on any topographical, geographic, economic, or ethnic rhyme. The results were disputes, ethnic conflicts, and wars throughout the African continent. This dilemma started manifesting itself in the 1950s, when African nations began reclaiming their political independence from their European colonial masters.
Given the changing patterns in global energy consumption, the compe- tition over control and ownership of oil fields has become more fierce and grave. Competing nations are willing to go to war in order to maintain their fields. This is nowhere more evident than in Africa. The Bakassi Peninsula dispute was born out of the need of the conflicting parties to own and con- trol the oil and gas fields in Bakassi. Bakassi is richly endowed with huge reserves of crude oil. It is located in the Gulf of Guinea, a region that the United States has declared as being “strategically important.” It is there- fore not surprising that the United States showed interest in the final out- come of the Greentree agreement in October 2006. African governments must understand that oil and gas are finite resources. Consequently, it is imperative that leaders from oil-producing African countries begin to invest in human resource development, which is an important component of eco- nomic growth. It is hard to understand the lagging growth in major oil- producing countries of Africa. Apparently, the corruption and mismanage- ment that has characterized the oil industry is an undisputed fact. Cameroon and Nigeria, at different times, had been known as champions of pubic sec- tor corruption. It is refreshing to see that the leaders in these countries have turned a new page and are trying to clean up their systems. They have started understanding the disastrous consequences to their economy. It is hoped that their efforts will be sustainable. Additionally, oil revenue should be invested in infrastructure development and capital improvement. African leaders must acknowledge the leadership blunders of the past four decades. They can and must mitigate their failing by initiating and pushing though meaningful and transparent policies that would ultimately result in sustainable development and an improved lifestyle for their populations.

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