Hearing to focus on Georgia’s request for provisional measures by the Court to prevent further cases of ethnic cleansing following the Russian invasion of Georgia
The International Court of Justice will hear arguments on Monday, September 8, in the case Georgia has brought against the Russian Federation for ethnic cleansing and for its support of separatism on Georgian territory. The charges relate to instances of ethnic cleansing beginning in the early 1990s and through recent days.
Since ethnic cleansing by Russia and its proxy forces appears to be continuing, the Government of Georgia has asked the ICJ to consider, in parallel to its original application, an emergency Provisional Measure Request. If endorsed by the Court, the emergency measures could help forestall further violence against ethnic Georgians.
Georgia’s application to the ICJ, filed on August 12, 2008, was initiated under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, to which both Georgia and Russia are party. The Ministry of Justice of Georgia began preparing the case against Russia earlier this year; but the recent Russian invasion of Georgia, which triggered a new wave of ethnic cleansing, forced Georgia to speed up its submission to the Court.
During the hearings—which begin tomorrow, September 8—the Court will examine the Provisional Measure Request and will not rule on the merits of the case.
The Government of Georgia will present its arguments on Monday from 10:00-13:00 CET. The respondent state, the Russian Federation, will have the opportunity to submit its arguments on the same day, from 15:00-18:00 CET. Georgia will be given time for a rebuttal on Tuesday, September 9; Russia can follow with a sur-rebuttal on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 10. The Court will have time for its decision.