Public hearings in Ukraine v. Russia case to be held at ICJ in The Hague

Public hearings in Ukraine v. Russia case to be held at ICJ in The Hague

Ukrinform
On June 6-14, the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ) will hold public hearings regarding Russia's violation of its obligations under two conventions.

This is stated in the commentary by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Ukrinform reports.

According to the schedule established by the Court, two rounds of arguments by the parties will take place: Ukraine’s legal team will speak on June 6 and 12, and Russia’s – on June 8 and 14, the Ministry informs.

During the hearings, the parties will present their positions outlined during the lengthy phase of the exchange of written documents which began in June 2018. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized that at this stage the Court is only listening to the parties and may ask additional questions. The Court's final decision in the case is expected later.

The Ministry notes that on April 19, 2017, the Court adopted a decision on the application of temporary measures, according to which the Russian Federation in temporarily occupied Crimea is obliged to refrain from maintaining or applying new restrictions on the rights of the Crimean Tatar community to preserve its representative institutions, including the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, as well as to ensure access to education in the Ukrainian language.

The Ministry underscored that Russia tried to prove in 2017-2018 that the ICJ did not have jurisdiction to consider this dispute, but the Court passed a ruling in favor of Ukraine's position, without granting any of Russia's requests. In 2020-2023, the parties filed their arguments in writing. Finally, at the end of March 2023, the Court scheduled the round of oral arguments in the case for June 6-14, 2023.

"The Ukrainian diplomatic team firmly defends Ukraine's interests in international courts and works step by step to bring Russia to justice for all its crimes since February 2014. No matter how long international justice takes, it is inevitable. Russia will be punished at the international level for all the evil done to our people," said Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

As reported,  on November 8, 2019, the ICJ recognized its jurisdiction in the case over Russia's violation of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The court also emphasized that Ukraine complied with all procedural pre-trial procedures. This decision means that the ICJ can proceed to consider the merits of the case.

On January 16, 2017, Ukraine filed a lawsuit against Russia at the ICJ over the violation of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Charges against Russia include: providing weapons and other aid to illegal armed formations; downing of Flight MH17; shelling of residential areas of Mariupol and Kramatorsk; destruction of a civilian passenger bus near Volnovakha; explosion during a peaceful gathering in Kharkiv; discrimination against the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar communities; banning the activities of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people; waves of disappearances, murders, arbitrary searches, detentions; restrictions on the teaching of the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar languages.

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