Prospects for the Future Use of ITLOS Ad Hoc Special Chambers after the Ghana/Côte d’Ivoire Case
The maritime boundary delimitation decision in the Ghana/Côte d’Ivoire Case is remarkable as the first decision of an ad hoc chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). This article evaluates the advantages of this critically under-examined dispute settlement mechanism, its operation in this case and the consequent prospects for the future use of such chambers. To date, the ad hoc chambers of both ITLOS and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) have rarely been used. Examining their respective procedures, legal frameworks, and performance, this article evaluates the comparative advantages and disadvantages of ITLOS ad hoc chambers vis-à-vis both ad hoc arbitration and the full bench of ITLOS. Although limited conclusions on the prospects for the mechanism’s future use can be drawn from this single decision, in light of the broadly positive outcome, prospective parties may be drawn to the possibilities and potential advantages of the ITLOS ad hoc chamber mechanism in the future.