Implications of ICJ Rulings in the Case of Racial Hatred

The below summary of International Court of Justice rulings is followed by Eric Hacopian’s commentary. The links are to download complete texts in PDF forms for those readers who are interested in having copies of the original version. 

We believe these rulings constitute a call to diplomats of the Republic of Armenia to be on high gear, be seriously engaged to bring the case to the relevant bodies of the United Nations and other international forums for just resolutions related to Artsakh and other pending matters.

Our state leaders should be bald, not feel constrained by the coercive diplomacy that Azerbaijan, Turkey and Russia are exerting to serve their interests. Their haste to have new agreements or a treaty is a sign that they are fearful of international repudiation of their actions. Our aim should be to extract victory from the jaws of defeat.

The Hague, 7 December 2021

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued rulings regarding Armenia’s application against Azerbaijan’s violations of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

The case summary opens with examples from the application such as: “[f]or decades, Azerbaijan has subjected Armenians to racial discrimination… [a]s a result of this State-sponsored policy of Armenian hatred, Armenians have been subjected to systemic discrimination, mass killings, torture and other abuse”.

The Court concludes:

The Republic of Azerbaijan shall, in accordance with its obligations under the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination:

  • Protect from violence and bodily harm all persons captured in relation to the 2020
    Conflict who remain in detention, and ensure their security and equality before the law;
  • Take all necessary measures to prevent the incitement and promotion of racial
    hatred and discrimination, including by its officials and public institutions, targeted at
    persons of Armenian national or ethnic origin;
  • Take all necessary measures to prevent and punish acts of vandalism and desecration affecting Armenian cultural heritage, including but not limited to churches and other places of worship, monuments, landmarks, cemeteries and artifacts;

Both Parties shall refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the Court or make it more difficult to resolve.”

With regard to certain exhibits in the “Military Trophies Park”, the Court takes full cognizance of the representation made by the Agent of Azerbaijan during the oral proceedings regarding these exhibits, namely that mannequins depicting Armenian soldiers and displays of helmets allegedly worn by Armenian soldiers during the 2020 Conflict have been permanently removed from the park and will not be shown in the future.

The ruling issued by ICJ in response to Azerbaijan’s filing of application against Armenia’s alleged violations concludes the following:

  • The Republic of Armenia shall, pending the final decision in the case and in accordance with its obligations under CERD, take all necessary measures to prevent the incitement and promotion of racial hatred, including by organizations and private persons in its territory, targeted at persons of Azerbaijani national or ethnic origin;
  • Both Parties shall refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the Court or make it more difficult to resolve.”
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