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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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Iran’s Tryst With the Terrorism Exception and State Immunity

Introduction On June 27, 2023, Iran instituted proceedings against Canada before the International Court of Justice (“the Court/ICJ”), contending a violation of its jurisdictional immunity and immunity from measures of constraint. A detailed statement of the jurisdictional and substantive issues raised in the case can be found in a previous blog…

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An Effective Form of Judicial Treatment of Foreign Terrorist Fighters in Kosovo?

Introduction Following the defeat of Islamic State in 2018 in Syria, thousands of Europeans accused of fighting for ISIS remain detained in Kurdish jails in Syria, while women and children related to these fighters are also living in several camps nearby the Iraqi border. Due to the absence of adequate infrastructure, some ISIS fighters are imprisoned in schools…

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Jurisdictional Immunities, all over Again?

ICJ proceedings instituted by Iran against Canada (27 June 2023): Some Observations on Jurisdiction and Merits Does State-backed terrorism enjoy State immunity from domestic jurisdiction or enforcement? This controversial question might finally be answered by the ICJ. Iran had already invoked its State immunities in Certain Iranian Assets, claiming that US court proceedings…

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9/11 Victims’ Claims to Afghanistan’s Foreign Exchange Reserve

Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserve has drawn considerable interest of late. According to recent reports, Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), the State’s central bank, holds around USD 10 billion in the form of US treasury bonds, gold offshore and other investments. Given that most of the funds are held in the United States Federal Reserve and denominated in foreign…

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