ICJ’s Preah Vihear ruling gives mild victory to Cambodia, but neither side will be completely happy (or upset)
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ICJ’s Preah Vihear ruling gives mild victory to Cambodia, but neither side will be completely happy (or upset)

From the ICJ decision:

108. For these reasons,
THE COURT,
(1) Unanimously, Finds that it has jurisdiction under Article 60 of the Statute to entertain the Request for interpretation of the 1962 Judgment presented by Cambodia, and that this Request is admissible;

(2) Unanimously,Declares, by way of interpretation, that the Judgment of 15 June 1962 decided that Cambodia had sovereignty over the whole territory of the promontory of Preah Vihear, as defined in paragraph 98 of the present Judgment, and that, in consequence, Thailand was under an  obligation to withdraw from that territory the Thai military or police forces, or other guards or keepers, that were stationed there.

BP: So to Paragraph 98:

98. From the reasoning in the 1962 Judgment, seen in the light of the pleadings in the original proceedings, it appears that the limits of the promontory of Preah Vihear, to the south of the Annex I map line, consist of natural features. To the east, south and south-west, the promontory drops in a steep escarpment to the Cambodian plain. The Parties were in agreement in 1962 that this escarpment, and the land at its foot, were under Cambodian sovereignty in any event.

To the west and north-west, the land drops in a slope, less steep than the escarpment but nonetheless pronounced, into the valley which separates Preah Vihear from the neighbouring hill of Phnom Trap, a valley which itself drops away in the south to the Cambodian plain (see paragraph 89 above). For the reasons already given (see paragraphs 92-97 above), the Court  considers that Phnom Trap lay outside the disputed area and the 1962 Judgment did not address the question whether it was located in Thai or Cambodian territory. Accordingly, the Court considers that the promontory of Preah Vihear ends at the foot of the hill of Phnom Trap, that is to say:  where the ground begins to rise from the valley.

In the north, the limit of the promontory is the Annex I map line, from a point to the north-east of the Temple where that line abuts the escarpment to a point in the north-west where the ground begins to rise from the valley, at the foot of the hill of Phnom Trap. The Court considers that the second operative paragraph of the 1962 Judgment required Thailand to withdraw from the whole territory of the promontory, thus defined, to Thai territory any Thai personnel stationed on that promontory.

BP: It is difficult to state the entirety of the land that the Court ruled is Cambodian as BP has no special knowledges on the limits of the natural features of the promontory but based on what Sermsum ThaiPBS Security editor has said the decision  means that 1-1.5 sq km of the 4.6 sq km Cambodia has sovereignty over this land. As it is clear the rest of the 4.6 sq km was not within the jurisdiction of the Court – as not related to interpretation of the 1962 judgement – so for this territory it will depend on negotiation between both sides.