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Tea Tsulukiani Thinks Tbilisi’s Position about Hague Court Judgment Is Irresponsible

05.04.2011

Interpresnews

Co-leader of the opposition political party Free Democrats Tea Tsulukiani thinks that the position of the official Tbilisi about the judgment of the UN International Court of Justice in Hague is irresponsible.

“The decision of The Hague Court is disadvantageous for Georgia and claiming that we have some profit from it, is not only false but irresponsible statement,” Tsulukiani told the Interpresnews.

She said, the court decision clearly states that the court agreed with one of the arguments of Russia that the suit of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia did not comply with the procedural requirements and did not accept the case for the essential hearing.

Tsulukiani clarified that the UN International Court in Hague will not discuss those urgently important issues of Georgia which were highlighted in our suit only because the Ministry of Justice did not meet the terms of the procedural norms.

“It demonstrates law qualification of the high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Justice who personally represented Georgia in The Hague Court,” she added.

According to Tsulukiani, there was procedural problem– the Ministry of Justice alleged Russia breached the Convention about Racial Discrimination; but the Convention requires the suitor initially to negotiate the opposite country and try to resolve the problem through negotiations. Due to the military operations between Georgia and Russia, our government could not start negotiations with them; there is another procedure which should have been taken before appealing to the UN International Court –The Ministry of Justice was entitled to appeal to the International Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination but they did not do that.

“If the International Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination declined our suit, the Ministry of Justice could have appealed to the UN International Court of Justice. The Ministry did not meet the terms of that procedure and on August 12, 2008 they filed the suit to the UN International Court of Justice in a usual hurry. So, the trial was failure from the very procedural stage though its essential discussion at the court was urgently important for the country,” she said.

The representative of the Free Democrats paid attention to the amendments introduced to the General Administrative Code of Georgia which was initiated by the Ministry of Justice last year. According to those amendments, the information about the Hague trial was declared secret though it was to be public.

She said the amendments did not allow any interested person to check how properly the procedures were implemented by Tina Burjaliani in Hague.

Tsulukiani requested in the name of the Free Democrats to make the information about the Hague court public in order to enable society to evaluate the situation properly – to decide how well the suit was prepared for the Court and how Georgian side resolved procedural problems.

On April 1, The Hague International Court of Justice decided with 10 votes against 6 votes that Georgia’s suit VS Russia was not within their competence.

The court, with 12 votes against 4, declined Russia’s motion which alleged that it was not Russian-Georgian conflict. In addition, the Court continues discussion of Russia’s allegation as if Georgia does not have right to appeal to the Court again.

Georgia had sued Russia at the UN International Court and blamed in the violation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Georgia blamed Russian authority in the discrimination of ethnic Georgian population in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region together with local separatist governments. The suit covers the incidents from 1990 to 2008.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia positively evaluated the decision of the UN International Court of Justice.

“The most important point in the decision of the UN International Court is that the Court considered the main argument of Georgia”, said the spokesperson of the president of Georgia Manana Manjgaladze at the briefing on April 5.

She said the court confirmed that Russian Federation is the party in this conflict and is not a third party though it was intensively vowed by Russia for several years.

Manjgaladze said it is important that the discussion was about the ethnic cleansing by Russian side.

“You know that Georgia had been arguing about ethnic cleansing for many years; in the point of the international law it is essential that our request was finally legitimated – Russia is a party to this conflict and it is very important for recognizing the ethnic cleansing,” said Manana Manjgaladze.

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