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ICJ's Grand Hall of Justice opens in time for Thai-Cambodian hearing

Mar 28. 2013
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The public hearing on Preah Vihear Temple, which will see both Thai and Cambodian delegates making their case to the World Court in Hague next month, will be held in the Great Hall of Justice.

The Hall in the Peace Palace has been closed for renovations since May last year, according to a press statement released by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), known as the World Court.

“Now that the work to renovate and modernise the Great Hall of Justice of the Peace Palace has been completed, the Court will sit there for the first time since May 2012,” the statement said.
Thailand and Cambodia will meet in the public hearing between April 15 and 19 at Cambodia’s request for an interpretation of the ICJ’s ruling on June 15, 1962 concerning the Hindu-style shrine.
The first round of oral arguments will see Cambodian delegates testifying to the Court on April 15, starting from 10am until the noon break at 1pm and then resuming from 3pm until 4.30pm. The Thai side will take the floor on April 17 at the same times.
The second round on April 18 will see Cambodia’s turn scheduled from 3pm to 5pm while Thailand would finish its arguments on April 19 at the same time.
The Court’s statement said the hearings will be broadcast online, live and in full on its website; www.icj-cij.org, under the heading “Multimedia,” and on the online television channel “UN Web TV” (http://webtv.un.org/). The hearings will subsequently also be available as a recorded webcast (VOD) on the United Nations Web TV website (http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/).
Veerachai Palasai, Thai ambassador to the Netherlands, said the legal team in the Preah Vihear dispute with Cambodia will insist on the World Court’s impotence to give a ruling on the dispute. 
Veerachai said the Cambodian complaint about a plot of land adjacent to the temple was a new issue and the ICJ is not authorised to take it into consideration.
Cambodia told the ICJ that it wanted the court to reinterpret its 1962 decision concerning the 4.6 sq km of scrubland near the temple to determine if the land belongs to Cambodia or Thailand.
Veerachai said Cambodia had submitted the issue to the ICJ in 1959 only to have the petition rejected. The Thai legal team will stress that this is a similar issue and that the court is not empowered to reconsider it.
The envoy said the Thai Foreign Ministry will set up a media centre from April 14-19 during which authorised interpreters will be available to give word-for-word translation of the court sessions, to be broadcast via the Internet. 
He gave reassurances that the Thai legal team will do its best in defending the case.
 

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