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Ukraine and Russia face off before the UN International Court of Justice in The Hague

Moscow and Kiev are facing each other before the UN International Court of Justice in The Hague from today, Monday (18/9) following an appeal by Ukrainianwhich accuses the Russia that it unfairly used allegations of genocide to justify its invasion in 2022.

Representatives of the two warring countries will present their arguments before judges at the court’s seat, the Peace Palace in The Hague, in a dispute over whether the top UN court has jurisdiction to order an end to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin partially justified the February 24, 2022 invasion of neighboring Ukraine by citing allegations of “genocide” orchestrated from Kiev in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine.

Two days later, on February 26, 2022, Kyiv, as reported by the Athens News Agency, appealed to the International Court of Justice “categorically denying” this claim and arguing that Russia’s use of a “genocide” as a pretext contravenes the United Nations Convention of 1948 on genocide.

In March 2022, the International Court of Justice sided with Ukraine, ordering Russia to “immediately cease” its military operations, which are currently ongoing in Ukraine.

Conflict over Jurisdiction

This emergency order, called a “conservative measure”, was announced by the judges pending a decision on the court’s jurisdiction in the case.

According to Russia, the International Court lacks jurisdiction because Ukraine’s case does not fall within the scope of the 1948 Genocide Convention. Moscow will develop its arguments today, Kiev will respond tomorrow, Tuesday.

It is the first time that a Russian representative will address the court in this case. Moscow had previously snubbed the hearings, arguing it had not had enough time to prepare its arguments.

More than 30 other countries – all Western allies of Ukraine – will also have the opportunity to intervene on Kiev’s behalf.

Hearings will continue until September 27. After these, the judges will decide whether the court has jurisdiction to hear the case. Making this decision can take months.

The UN International Court of Justice in The Hague is also dealing with a separate appeal by Ukraine, which claims Russia supported separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine for years before the invasion.

The International Court of Justice at The Hague was created after the Second World War to settle disputes between UN member states when they cannot solve problems on their own. Its decisions are not subject to appeal, but the court has no means of enforcing them.

Source: News Beast

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