On 12 September 2018, the Russian Federation filed preliminary objections in the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”), challenging the Court’s jurisdiction to hear Ukraine’s case.
Ukraine filed its case in the ICJ on 16 January 2017 to challenge Russia’s systematic violations of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (“Terrorism Financing Convention”), and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (“Racial Discrimination Convention”). On 12 June 2018, Ukraine submitted to the ICJ a Memorial and extensive evidence documenting Russia’s serious violations of these treaties.
Consistent with common practice before the ICJ, Russia has responded by filing Preliminary Objections, arguing that the Court lacks jurisdiction over the case. Although Russia has the right under the Court’s rules to make these objections, Ukraine is confident that the Court will reject them and conclude that it has jurisdiction over Ukraine’s claims.
According to the order of the Court, Ukraine has until 14 January 2019 to file a Written Statement opposing Russia’s objections. After Ukraine’s statement is submitted, the Court will hold hearings on the objections and then issue a decision.
Ukraine has made a powerful case that Russia is violating the Terrorism Financing and Racial Discrimination Conventions. Ukraine is confident that it will ultimately prevail on the merits and Russia will be held accountable for its wrongful acts.