CIMUN Chronicle / Article / 1994

ICJ Takes On Belgium v. Spain Light and Power Company Case

IPD Article Image - ICJ Takes On Belgium v. Spain Light and Power Company Case

In a recent meeting in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the court decided to take on Belgium v. Spain, a case involving the Light and Power Company.

The case, presented to the ICJ by Belgium and Spain, covers the Canadian business the Light and Power Company, which has operations in both Belgium and Spain, and how Spain has not paid a fine for their wrongdoings. The nature of the wrongdoings is unclear, as Spain has not cooperated with the ICJ. “Spain has not come to the table for negotiations,” a representative from the United Kingdom stated.

The committee is waiting for the International Law Commission to clarify the situation, and to decide if the matter is effective ownership. If so, the case looks in the favor of Belgium. “This is what Belgium’s case hinges on. If [the International Law Commission] considers it international law, then Belgium has the right to compensation and suit of the Spanish government,” a representative from Uganda remarked.  

Other countries wish for more witnesses on the matter, to create a well-rounded idea of the situation. “[The U.K.] thinks we should bring in an executive from the company in order to gain more information on the role Spain and Belgium play in the company and its daily business.” A representative form the U.K. remarked. The representative feels that it is necessary to get the opinion of the company, as they only know what Belgium has told them, and without Spain, the conflict is vague.

In terms of a judgment, the court is split. While many representatives, like Uganda, believe that Belgium will have the right to compensation, others are not convinced. “[Japan] believes that Belgium doesn't really have a right to the case as even though it owns 80% of the company, we don’t know how many shareholders Belgium actually owns.” A representative from Japan commented. The representative does not believe that Belgium has effective ownership, which would change the case entirely.

Source: Law Help PD