1. On 25 February 2014, the Republic of Costa Rica (hereinafter “Costa Rica”) filed an
Application with the International Court of Justice (hereinafter “the Court”) against the Republic of
Nicaragua (hereinafter “Nicaragua”), requesting the Court
“to determine the complete course of a single maritime boundary between all the maritime areas
appertaining, respectively, to Costa Rica and to Nicaragua in the Caribbean Sea and in the Pacific
Ocean, on the basis of international law”.
2. Costa Rica “further request[ed] the Court to determine the precise geographical co-ordinates
of the single maritime boundaries in the Caribbean Sea and in the Pacific Ocean”.
3. In the Memorial, Costa Rica claims that the starting-point of the maritime delimitation
between the Parties on the Caribbean side is “on the right bank of the San Juan River at its mouth”
(para. 4.13). In the Counter-Memorial, Nicaragua contends that the starting-point is situated at the
extremity of Punta de Castilla, near the north-eastern corner of Harbor Head Lagoon (para. 3.48),
3.59 km east of that suggested by Costa Rica.
4. The Court, considering that there were certain factual matters relating to the state of the
coast between the point suggested by Costa Rica and the point suggested by Nicaragua in their
pleadings as the starting-point of the maritime boundary in the Caribbean Sea, which might be
relevant for the purpose of settling the dispute submitted to it, and that, with regard to such matters, it
would benefit from an expert opinion, decided, in an Order dated 31 May 2016, that “[a]n expert
opinion shall be obtained, which will be entrusted to two independent experts appointed by Order of
the President of the Court after hearing the Parties”.
5. In its Order of 31 May 2016, the Court also decided that:
“(2) The experts referred … above shall visit the site. They shall advise the Court regarding the
state of the coast between the point suggested by Costa Rica and the point suggested by Nicaragua in
their pleadings as the starting-point of the maritime boundary in the Caribbean Sea, and in particular
answer the following questions:
(a) What are the geographical co-ordinates of the point at which the right bank of the San Juan
River meets the sea at the low-water line?
(b) What are the geographical co-ordinates of the land point which most closely approximates to
that identified by the first Alexander Award as the starting-point of the land boundary?
(c) Is there a bank of sand or any maritime feature between the points referred to in subparagraphs
(a) and (b) above? If so, what are their physical characteristics? In particular, are these features, or
some of them, permanently above water, even at high tide? Is Los Portillos/Harbor Head Lagoon
separated from the sea?
(d) To what extent is it possible, or probable, that the area concerned will undergo major physical
changes in the short and long term?”
6. The authors of the present Report were appointed by an Order of the President of the Court
dated 16 June 2016.