Monday, March 02, 2009

Court hearing begins on Costa Rica-Nicaragua dispute

The Hague, Netherlands (AP) - Hearings have begun at the International Court of Justice in a dispute between Costa Rica and Nicaragua over control of the San Juan River.

Wrangling over access to the river, which runs between the two countries, has strained relations between the Central American neighbors for years.

Costa Rica filed the case in 2005, arguing that Nicaragua has illegally hindered its access to the river since 1998.

Nicaragua insists it has sovereignty over the river.

Monday's hearing at the world court start a week of arguments between the two countries in the wood-paneled Great Hall of Justice.

The International Court of Justice is the U.N.'s highest legal body, established in 1946 to resolve conflicts between states. Its rulings are binding.

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