The International Court of Justice, sitting at The Hague, decided on Friday (2 February) that it was competent to judge the "cod war" case -- the dispute in which the United Kingdom and West Germany deny Iceland's right to extend unilaterally its territorial waters from 12 to 50 nautical miles.
GV EXT International Court of Justice.
GV INT Judges and CU (2 shots) as President announces verdict.
MV & CU PAN UK delegates. (2 shots)
CU President speaking.
CU Sign and MV empty Icelandic seats. (2 shots)
SCU President speaking.
SV, CU & MV Delegates from Germany seated. (3 shots)
Initials PK/VS 23.19 PK/VS 23.26
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Background: The International Court of Justice, sitting at The Hague, decided on Friday (2 February) that it was competent to judge the "cod war" case -- the dispute in which the United Kingdom and West Germany deny Iceland's right to extend unilaterally its territorial waters from 12 to 50 nautical miles.
The Court's President, Sir Zafrulla Khan, of Pakistan, castigated Iceland for boycotting the proceedings. The Court's decision was reached by a 14-1 majority, the largest in its history. Only a Mexican judge failed to concur.
Britain an Germany had applied separately for a ruling on whether the dispute could be heard before the court. Now the Court has agreed to hear their cases, and has called on Iceland to submit to judgment.
The complainants' argument is that Iceland's action has robbed them of their traditional fishing grounds.
Since the territorial extension was declared, British trawlers have continued to fish in Icelandic waters between 12 and 50 miles off-shore, and there have been several incidents between Icelandic patrol boats and British vessels. These have included the destruction of fishing equipment worth thousands of pounds, and mutual accusations of dangerous navigation tactics.
SYNOPSIS: At the International Court of Justice at The Hague, an important step in the dispute known as the "cod war". The judges decided that they ARE able to hear the case which the United Kingdom and West Germany want to bring against Iceland. The countries claim Iceland has acted illegally in extending its territorial waters to fifty nautical miles.
The 80-year-old President Sir Zafrulla Khan, of Pakistan, severely criticised Iceland for breaking court rules by staying away.
He said the Court would now consider the complaints from Britain and Germany, who say Iceland's action is an attempt to deprive them of traditional fishing grounds. The decision was made by a 14 to one majority, the largest in the Court's history. Only a Mexican judge didn't agree.