So Ukraine May Sue Russia for Violating Anti-Terrorism Financing Convention

by Julian Ku

Things are not going well for Ukraine these days as Russia has managed to solidify its control over Crimea and is continuing support for breakaway regions in Eastern Ukraine. It is very hard to justify the legality of Russia’s actions, so it is not surprising that Ukraine is looking for any and all international fora to sue Russia.

As usual, the great challenge is to find an international court with jurisdiction. Ukraine has added a bunch of new cases to the already crowded Russia docket of the European Court of Human Rights. But I had been wondering how Ukraine planned to bring Russia to other courts like the International Court of Justice since Russia has not accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of that court.

Well, according to this report, it looks like Russia has accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of ICJ for disputes under the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.   Article 24(1) of the Convention states:

Any dispute between two or more States Parties concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention which cannot be settled through negotiation within a reasonable time shall, at the request of one of them, be submitted to arbitration. If, within six months from the date of the request for arbitration, the parties are unable to agree on the organization of the arbitration, any one of those parties may refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice, by application, in conformity with the Statute of the Court.

Although Russia could have avoided jurisdiction under paragraph 2 (as the United States did), Russia did not do so. So Russia could face an ICJ case, which I imagine it will ignore.  But I am not sure it could brazenly claim the ICJ lacked jurisdiction, so it will be interesting to see whether Russia decides to litigate (and maybe even file counterclaims)?

2 Responses

  1. Very interesting point. In this scenario, if Russia ignores an ICJ case,I think it quite likely that they will not even comment on the ICJ’s potential jurisdiction. However, if Russia decides to litigate, it will be interesting to see how they react to an ICJ ruling against them.

  2. Ukraine faces a lot of hurdles on the road to ICJ, in particular taking into account that we are clearly witnessing an armed conflict in the eastern part of the country between regular army of Ukraine, supported by irregular voluntary combat personnel  and military units from Russia which include those of regular army, special operation and irregular formations like ‘kozaks’, together with separatists militia aided and sponsored by Russia. Although GOU declares a counter-terrorism operation on the east the opposing separatist are hardly considered terrorists even in Ukraine not to mention Russia or other countries. It would be interesting to see how Ukraine builds it’s case after exchanges of POW/hostages, conclusion of Minsk Agreement and reaching ceasefire with ‘terrorists’. Is there any information on what dispute on the application or interpretation of the Convention is claimed by Ukraine?

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. There are no trackbacks or pingbacks associated with this post at this time.