The Judge surprised us at the start by declaring that he had visited the Saharawi refugee camps near Tindouf in 1978 on the second anniversary of the founding of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic.
Over the following two days our counsel presented our case as laid out in the witness statement and opposing counsel presented the governments rebuttal. The arguments raised points of Public International Law and Customary International Law. Much of the discussion was about the interests and wishes of the Saharawi people as summed up in the Corell legal opinion presented to the UN Security Council in 2002. Our barrister also made the fresh argument that this should not necessarily be the criteria as the Corell’s legal opinion referred to actions the de jure Administering Power could take. Morocco is not listed by the UN as the Administering Power, it does not perform the obligations of an Administering Power and does not claim to be the Administering Power. So ‘consent and benefit’ should not justify resource exploitation.
The judge concluded by observing that he had been plenty of summer reading. His judgement is not expected until October.
As one campaign member, Phillip Wearne, observed: “Over the two days many questions were raised under international and EU law about the legality of the EU-Morocco agreements. The judge must refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union. Only the CJEU can rule on this”.
WESTERN SAHARA CAMPAIGN UK
The Western Sahara Campaign works in solidarity with the Saharawi people to generate political support in order to advance their right to self-determination and to promote their human rights.
Our role is to lobby the UK Government and the EU. You can help us to ensure the UK does not ignore the voice of the Saharawi people.
Follow the news about EU's illegal fisheries in Western Sahara