A Collaboration with University of Pittsburgh   

ICJ orders Thailand, Cambodia to withdraw troops from border temple

The UN International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] on Monday ordered [press release, PDF] that both Thailand and Cambodia immediately withdraw military personnel from a disputed area along the border between the two countries. The Temple of Preah Vihear [UNESCO profile] is a demilitarized region between Cambodia and Thailand, and has been the sight of armed clashes [AP report] between military forces from both countries since 2008. The court voted 11-5 to instruct both countries to withdraw troops, as well as permit officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) [official website] to monitor the cease-fire, which was called for [JURIST report] by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon [official website; JURIST news archive] in April. Thailand is also not permitted to refuse access to Cambodia with respect to non-military use of the area.

View Larger Map

The Cambodian government asked [press release] the ICJ in May to order Thai troops to withdraw from the disputed border area. The ICJ ruling stems from a request from Cambodia seeking clarification [JURIST report] from the court of a 1962 decision [judgment, PDF] awarding the temple to the Cambodian city of Phnom Penh. Cambodia argued that the troops in the surrounding area of the temple are a threat to the security and peace of the region, while Thailand contended that the ICJ does not have jurisdiction to decide border disputes between countries. Parts of the Cambodia-Thailand border have never been formally demarcated, which has led to border disputes [BBC report]. In response to the latest border clash, Ban stressed that the dispute could not be resolved through military force [JURIST report] and urged both sides to continue working towards a ceasefire.

Support JURIST

We rely on our readers to keep JURIST running

 Donate now!

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.