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Both sides happy

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, April 5
The Hague ICJ (International Court of Justice) –announced its verdict on April 1 concerning Georgia’s claims against Russia and, somewhat surprisingly, both sides expressed their satisfaction with its decision. On one hand, the Hague court agreed with Moscow's claims and stated that this issue was not to be discussed by the Hague court. On the other side, the International Court of Justice labeled the Russian Federation as a participant side in the conflict.

Both sides simultaneously think that that they are winners and both think that they could go further. Moscow tries to achieve the result whereby Georgia will not have any rights to file a case again, whereas Tbilisi thinks that after adjusting some details the case can be revived.

In its claim submitted to the ICJ on August 12, 2008 Georgia tried to prove that Moscow had violated the international convention on racial discrimination. Georgia also highlighted that the Russian Federation conducted intervention in South Ossetia and Abkhazia from the beginning of the 1990s up to August 2008. In December 2009, the Russian Federation submitted a counter claim where it tried to confirm that Georgia’s claim was not under the jurisdiction of this particular court and that the case should have been preliminarily discussed in the UN racial discrimination elimination committee.

As a matter of fact, the court agreed with Russia in this case, Georgia did not try to negotiate this issue with Russia. Georgia had not pursued other legal avenues before it applied to ICJ. This was a mistake from the Georgian side, supposedly coming from a lack of experience among Georgian diplomats involved in this issue.

As some analysts suggest, this was down to the ignorance of Georgian officials at the highest level. Georgian officials try to protect themselves by saying that the case was not lost and that it has been only suspended. Chairman of the parliamentary committee for the international relations Akaki Minashvili thinks that there can still be dialogue between two countries and the case will be considered again. When the Georgian side proves that the results of the occupation and ethnic cleansing cannot be resolved through the negotiations, Georgia’s claim will be submitted to the Hague court.

On the other hand, Moscow is insisting that Georgia has no right to submit the same case to the ICJ once again. Let us hope that at least this time Georgia's position is reinforced by competent experienced and solid specialists of international law so that this time Georgia’s moves are legally conducted in the correct way and not in an incompetent manner. Let us hope that the ‘’battle for Hague’’ is not yet over.