(Civil.Ge) — Having upheld one of the Russian Federation’s preliminary objections, the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on April 1, that Georgia’s case against Russia “can not proceed to the merit phase.”
By ten votes to six the Court found that “it has no jurisdiction to entertain the application filed by Georgia on the 12th of August, 2008”, President of the International Court of Justice, Judge Hasishi Owada, announced at a public sitting of the court.
Sections of Statement
“A number of documents and statements from the period before CERD entered into force between the Parties are also assessed as to their relevance in offering context to later documents and statements referred to by the Parties. The Court concludes that none of these documents or statements provides any basis for a finding that there was a dispute between the Parties concerning racial discrimination before 2 July 1999. The Court adds that even if a dispute about racial discrimination had been found to have existed, it could not have been a dispute with respect to the interpretation or application of CERD, the only kind of dispute in respect of which the Court is given jurisdiction by Article 22 of that Convention,” reads in part the statement.
The statement also noted: “Turning to the events that unfolded in early August 2008, in particular the armed hostilities in South Ossetia that began during the night of 7 to 8 August 2008, the Court observes that, while the claims levelled against the Russian Federation by Georgia between 9 and 12 August 2008 (the day on which Georgia submitted its Application) were primarily claims about the unlawful use of force, they also expressly referred to ethnic cleansing by Russian forces. These claims were made against the Russian Federation directly and were rejected by the latter. The Court therefore finds that by 12 August 2008, there was a dispute between Georgia and the Russian Federation about the latter’s compliance with its obligations under CERD. The first preliminary objection of the Russian Federation is accordingly dismissed.”
With additional reporting from the ICJ