Part B Commentary on Judgments and Awards in Maritime Boundary Delimitation Disputes, 15 Cameroon v. Nigeria: Equatorial Guinea intervening (Judgment of the International Court of Justice, 10 October 2002)
Stephen Fietta, Robin Cleverly
- Coastal states — Continental shelf — Islands and artificial islands — Delimitation — Straits — Territorial sea
The case described in this chapter is about the delimitation of the land and maritime boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria. This land boundary dispute extended from Lake Chad in the north to the Bakassi Peninsula in the south and the parties have adjacent coastlines abutting the Gulf of Guinea. The maritime areas in dispute along the eastern flank of the Niger Delta were highly prospective for oil and gas and there had been extensive oil activity on both the Nigerian and Cameroonian sides. However, overlapping oil concession blocks in the disputed area had restricted exploration and production. This is an example of a case, the chapter concludes, that concerned complex disputes over both land territory and maritime boundaries. This contrast illustrates the relative expediency with which arbitration proceedings can be conducted in such disputes as compared with proceedings before the court, particularly when both parties desire a rapid resolution.