|III.||The International Court of Justice|
|2.||THE JURISDICTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE|
|2.2.||Conditions for a Decision on the Merits|
|2.2.2.||Necessity of Diplomatic Negotiations|
Case Concerning the Land and Maritime
Boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria
(Cameroon v. Nigeria: Equatorial Guinea Intervening)
Judgment of 10 October 2002
[pp. ] 244. The Court noted in its Judgment of 11 June 1998 (I.C.J. Reports 1998, p. 321, para. 107 and p. 322, para. 110) that negotiations between the Governments of Cameroon and Nigeria concerning the entire maritime delimitation up to point G and beyond were conducted as far back as the 1970s. These negotiations did not lead to an agreement. However, Articles 74 and 83 of the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention do not require that delimitation negotiations should be successful; like all similar obligations to negotiate in international law, the negotiations have to be conducted in good faith. The Court reaffirms its finding in regard to the preliminary objections that negotiations have indeed taken place. Moreover, if, following unsuccessful negotiations, judicial proceedings are instituted and one of the parties then alters its claim, Articles 74 and 83 of the Law of the Sea Convention would not require that the proceedings be suspended while new negotiations were conducted. It is of course true that the Court is not a negotiating forum. In such a situation, however, the new claim would have to be dealt with exclusively by judicial means. Any other solution would lead to delays and complications in the process of delimitation of continental shelves and exclusive economic zones. The Law of the Sea Convention does not require such a suspension of the proceedings.
245. As to negotiations with Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe, the Court does not find that it follows from Articles 74 and 83 of the Law of the Sea Convention that the drawing of the maritime boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria presupposes that simultaneous negotiations between all four States involved have taken place.
The Court is therefore in a position to proceed to the delimitation of the maritime boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria in so far as the rights of Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe are not affected.