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3 Can. J. Comp. & Contemp. L. 1 (2017)
A Contrario Interpretation in the Jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice

handle is hein.journals/cajccl3 and id is 15 raw text is: 

(2017) 3(1) CJCCL       1

A Contrario Interpretation in the

Jurisprudence of the International

Court of'Justice

Abdulqawi A. Yusuf* & Daniel Peat**

In its recent judgments on preliminary objections in the cases of Alleged
Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea
(Nicaragua v Colombia) and the Question of the Delimitation of the Continental
Shelf between Nicaragua and Colombia beyond 200 nautical miles from the
Nicaraguan Coast (Nicaragua v Colombia), the International Court of Justice
(ICJ') had to deal with arguments based on a contrario interpretation. This form of
interpretation, according to which the fact that a provision expressly provides for one
category of situations is said to justify the inference that other comparable categories
are excluded'; has been addressed several times in the jurisprudence of the Court and
its predecessor, the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ'). Yet, despite
assertions that the maxim of interpretation would 'nd a place in the logic of the
nursery , there remain fundamental questions about both its character and its operation.
This article addresses two of those questions. how has a contrario interpretation been
used in the practice of the PCIJ and ICJ, and how might we explain the importance
attributed to it?

      Vice-President, International Court of Justice.
      Associate Legal Officer, International Court of Justice.

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