Georgios Petrochilos QC and Ryan Manton provided their expertise on inter-State disputes and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as a forum for disputes in the cover story for The Law Society Gazette’s February edition.

Authored by journalist Marialuisa Taddia, the article, “Drawing a Line”, explores unresolved border crises around the world.

Georgios observed how boundary and territorial cases form an important, and growing, part of the ICJ’s caseload, noting, “the ICJ plenary formation has established itself as a preferable forum compared to the court’s chambers or ad hoc tribunals drawn from ICJ judges” and “the growing body of case law provides greater predictability about potential outcomes, which is an important element in selecting a forum”. He discussed how effective the ICJ had been and “that the court is increasingly busy, including with boundary and territorial disputes, suggests that more and more States consider that the ICJ is successfully performing its judicial role”.

Ryan spoke about how the ICJ has been “more confident” in its approach to resolving “high-stakes and heavily contested” boundary cases, noting “the court’s approach has been bold and not always what observers might have predicted” and “its judgments have gained acceptance”. Ryan also discussed the “three-stage” methodology for delimiting maritime boundaries, highlighting that the method, which is also applied by ITLOS and arbitral tribunals, “contains a significant degree of judgement, but it nonetheless provides a framework within which States can advance their position and the court can rule on them”.

The February edition of the publication looks at how lawyers prevent border disputes from escalating into armed conflict.

To read the article (pages 17 – 20), click here.


Georgios has a broad practice spanning more than two decades and covering inter-State, investment, and commercial disputes. He has represented States, international organisations, and private parties in more than 70 disputes, including several appearances in the International Court of Justice.

Georgios has published extensively, including the well-known monograph Procedural Law in International Arbitration, and the leading commentary, UNCITRAL Rules. He is recognised in Chambers and The Legal 500, and as a Thought Leader by Who’s Who Legal.


Ryan practises in all areas of international dispute settlement, including inter-State disputes, investor-State arbitration, and international commercial arbitration. His experience extends across cases before a wide range of international tribunals, including as counsel before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, and numerous arbitral tribunals, as well as in ICSID annulment proceedings.

Ryan is a co-author of the second edition of International Arbitration: Three Salient Problems (Cambridge, 2020).

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