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How Ghana Cote d’Ivoire Judgement Was Delivered

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The Ghanaian legal team their Ivorian counterparts

The historic judgement of the dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in the Atlantic Ocean was delivered over the weekend in Hamburg, Germany.

The judgment of the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) went in favour of Ghana.

It took about one hour and 40 minutes for the judgment to be read by Judge Boualem Bouguetaia, president of the five-member panel of the Special Chamber who is from Algeria.

In the early stages of the delivery, the pressure appeared to be on Ghana as Cote d’Ivoire’s case looked to be going well for that country.

However, midway into the long judgment, the tide turned and the Ghanaian contingent appeared to be nodding in approval as the judge laid the issues bare.

Attorney General Gloria A. Akuffo was called upon to introduce the Ghanaian legal team and the delegation before the almost packed chamber after which the Ivoriens did their introduction.

The Ghanaian team was made up of the AG, her Deputy Godfred Yeboah Dame; Solicitor-General Mrs Helen Awo Dziwu; Professor Phillipe Sands, who is Ghana’s lead International Lawyer; Fui Tsikata, among other top lawyers.

Ghana’s Ambassador to Germany, Gina Ama Blay; New Patriotic Party (NPP) Acting Chairman, Lawyer Freddie W. Blay who is also the Board Chairman of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC); K.K Sarpong, the CEO of GNPC; Lawyer Akoto Ampaw’ Lawyer Egbert Faibille, the new CEO of Ghana Petroleum Commission and other top lawyers were also present.

The president of the panel, after the judges had retired to their chambers and at the close of the case, returned to the main courtroom without his robe on, to interact with both the delegations of the two countries.

Apart from Judge Bouguetaia, other panel members were Justice Jin-Hyun Paik, Republic of South Korea; Justice Rüdiger Wolfrum of Germany and Ad hoc judges Thomas Mensah of Ghana and Ronny Abraham of France, were selected by Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire respectively per ITLOS’ rules.

The registrar of the Special Chamber is Philippe Gautier.

 

By William Yaw Owusu

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