1994

ICJ

Case concerning the Territorial dispute (Libya/Chad)

1990 Libya referred to the ICJ an accord for settlement of territorial dispute with Chad. The starting point is 1955 Treaty of friendship and good neighbourliness between Libya & France. Libya argued that at the time of the treaty it lacked experience in international negotiations, and that placed in disadvantage concerning boundaries, and the court should take that when interpreting the treaty, Libya does not suggest it is a ground to invalidate the treaty

(41) in accordance with CIL, reflected in 31 VCLT, a treaty must be interpreted in good faith in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to its terms in their context and in the light of its object and purpose. Interpretation must be based above all upon the text of the treaty. As a supplementary measure recourse may be had to means of interpretation such as preparatory work of the treaty and the circumstances of its conclusion (55) the court considers that it is not necessary to refer to the travaux preparatoires to elucidate the context of the 1955 treaty; but as in previous cases, it finds it possible by reference to the travaux to confirm its reading of the text, namely, that the treaty constitutes an agreement between the parties which, inter alia, defines the frontiers.