A five-member Tribunal has been fully constituted to hear the arbitration between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement concerning the delimitation of the Abyei Area pursuant to an Arbitration Agreement deposited with the PCA on July 11, 2008.
The members of the Tribunal are H.E. Judge Awn Al-Khasawneh of Jordan and Professor Gerhard Hafner of Austria (appointed by the Government of Sudan); Professor W. Michael Reisman and Judge Stephen W. Schwebel of the United States of America (appointed by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army) and Professor Pierre-Marie Dupuy of France (appointed as presiding arbitrator by the Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (“PCA”) in consultation with the four party-appointed arbitrators).
The PCA International Bureau is acting as registry and providing administrative support. The Arbitration Agreement provides for the arbitration to be conducted under the PCA Optional Rules for Arbitrating Disputes between Two Parties of Which Only One is a State, subject to such modifications as the Parties may agree in writing.
The arbitration officially commenced on October 30, 2008, the date on which the presiding arbitrator signed a declaration of independence, impartiality and commitment.
The Tribunal met with representatives of the Parties in The Hague for a preliminary procedural meeting on November 24, 2008. At the meeting, the Terms of Appointment of the Tribunal were signed and the following schedule for the written and oral pleadings were set by the Tribunal in consultation with the Parties and in accordance with the Arbitration Agreement:
- December 18, 2008: Filing of Memorials
- February 13, 2009: Filing of Counter-Memorials
- February 28, 2009: Filing of Rejoinders
- April 18-23, 2009: Oral pleadings in The Hague
The Government of Sudan has also deposited a request for assistance from the PCA’s Financial Assistance Fund.
The Parties have agreed to make the pleadings, transcripts, decisions and certain other documents publicly available via the PCA website.