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Unfulfilled Promises of the ICJ Litigation for Ukraine: Analysis of the ICJ Judgment in Ukraine v Russia (CERD and ICSFT)

1. Summary and Context On 31 January 2024, the ICJ delivered its long-awaited Judgment on the merits in the case Ukraine v Russia concerning alleged violations of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (ICSFT) and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). It was a sobering experience for those who followed the case closely, as the vast majority of Ukraine’s claims were rejected. Notwithstanding a broad range of claims advanced by Ukraine against Russia under both Conventions, the ICJ narrowly found (13:2) that Russia violated Article 9(1) of ICSFT due to its failure to investigate individuals who allegedly committed terrorism financing offences based on information received from Ukraine, and violated Articles 2(1)(a) and 5(e)(v) of CERD with regard to the way in which it implemented its school education in the Ukrainian language in Crimea (Judgment, para. 404). Ukraine may find some consolation in the fact that the ICJ found that Russia violated its obligations under the 2017 provisional measures order, which obliged…

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Ukraine’s ICJ Provisional Measures: A Narrow Path to Remedies

On February 2, the International Court of Justice dealt Ukraine’s case against Russia under the Genocide Convention a heavy blow when it dismissed the majority of the claims for lack of jurisdiction. The decision effectively transformed the case into one about whether Ukraine violated international law (by committing genocide), a far cry from…

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Collateralising Russia’s Frozen Currency Reserves: A Creative Solution, Playing for Time, or Both?

The past several weeks have seen a new-ish development in the ongoing saga concerning the fate of the Central Bank of Russia’s (CBR) frozen foreign currency reserves. According to the Financial Times, the G7’s discussions have shifted towards issuing bonds backed by CBR assets for Ukraine’s benefit. Two unnamed officials cited by the FT described…

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What I Didn’t Hear at the International Law Conference in Ukraine

‘Are you a Russian spy?’ The question came over dinner, between the grilled vegetables and the tongue with mushrooms, in the opulent House of Scientists in Lviv, western Ukraine. At the ‘Stand Tall for the Rule of Law Summit,’ held from 8-10 December 2023, American and Ukrainian officials, legal advisers, and academics gathered to support…

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Time for another Ukrainian Genocide Case?

In his as ever instant and persuasive reporting and analysis, Marko Milanovic has drawn attention to the rather unusual and, presumably for Ukraine, unexpected result in the jurisdictional phase of the Ukraine/Russian Federation genocide case. The case appears to reverse the thrust of the Preliminary Measures Order decided by the ICJ just weeks after the invasion…

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