In April 2022 Prof Francesco Sindico was at The Hague as Counsel for the Plurinational State of Bolivia in the Case over the Dispute over the Status and Use of the Waters of the Silala (Chile v. Bolivia). The case was held before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the highest judicial body of the United Nations. The oral pleadings lasted two weeks from 01 to 14 April and a final decision by the Court is expected towards the end of 2022.

Francesco was part of a team of international lawyers from the United States of America, France, Singapore, Spain, Nicaragua together with the domestic team from Bolivia.

Commenting on the case, Francesco said: “It was a pleasure and honour to represent Bolivia in this case. The ICJ tends to deal with traditional public international law matters or maritime boundary cases. International environmental law is not so common. The Silala case is one of these few cases and it deals also with international water law, an area that I have been working on for many years.” Still commenting on his experience in the Hague, Francesco considered the extent to which the highest judicial body may one day have climate change as a topic on its docket: “It was natural to think of how the ICJ would confront in the future a climate change related case. How would it deal with scientific evidence? What kind of cross-examination of experts would take place? Which previous cases would be considered? But, more importantly, can there be a state vs state case, or will it be an advisory opinion to bring climate change inside La Grande Sale?”