Friday, April 1, 2011

CERD shoehorn fails to fit

Shoehorning the conflict between the Republic of Georgia and the Russian Federation into a race discrimination claim always seemed a bit of a stretch.
Not to say there's no ethnic animus amid the tension that heated into armed conflict a while back. (Prior IntLawGrrls posts available here.) Just that there seemed to be a lot more going on. Still, Georgia's CERD shoehorn -- its effort for secure International Court of Justice review on the basis of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination -- was creative lawyering. The kind of thing that just might work.
In the end, however, not enough judges were persuaded.
The ICJ has ruled against Georgia in the case known as Application of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Georgia v. Russian Federation). Of initial note in the judgment, available here, is the division among judges on the issues presented:
► On Russia's claim that no dispute under CERD Article 22 existed, the vote was 12 judges in favor of the objection, 4 against (among the latter, new Judge Xue Hanqin, of China).
► On Russia's claim that Georgia had not satisfied procedural requirements set out in CERD Article 22, the vote was 10 judges in favor of the objection, 6 against (among the latter, newest Judge Joan E. Donoghue, of the United States).
► On the ICJ's finding that it had no jurisdiction, the same 10 judges voted aye and the same 6, including Donoghue, voted no.
Comment on the full judgment awaits careful reading.


No comments: