Wednesday, August 13, 2008
On August 12, 2008, Georgia instituted proceedings by filing an Application with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the Russia Federation. The World has been carefully watching the Russian Federation's military actions in sovereign Georgia and the many of the G8 countries are reported to be talking seriously about the Russian Federation's actions in a Eastern European country. It is interesting that the basis for the case is an alleged violation of the Convention Against Racial Discrimination (CERD).
The Republic of Georgia today instituted proceedings before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the Russian Federation for “its actions on and around the territory of Georgia” in breach of the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). In its Application, Georgia “also seeks to ensure that the individual rights” under the Convention “of all persons on the territory of Georgia are fully respected and protected”.
Georgia contends that the “Russian Federation, through its State organs, State agents, and other persons and entities exercising governmental authority, and through the South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatist forces and other agents acting on the instructions of, and under the direction and control of the Russian Federation, is responsible for serious violations of its fundamental obligations under [the] CERD, including Articles 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6”. According to Georgia, Russia had “violated its obligations under [the] CERD during three distinct phases of its interventions in South Ossetia and Abkhazia” in the period from 1990 to August 2008.
Georgia requests the Court to order “the Russian Federation to take all steps necessary to comply with its obligations under [the] CERD”.As a basis for the jurisdiction of the Court, Georgia invokes Article 22 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. It also reserves its right to invoke Article IX of the Genocide Convention, to which both Georgia and Russia are parties, as an additional basis for the Court’s jurisdiction.