The Hague on Russia-Georgia

DeutschlandRadio’s hourly news bulletin this evening presents the “surprising” final ruling made by the International Criminal Court on the case brought by Georgia alleging Russian human rights abuses in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Judges called on both Russia and Georgia to halt human rights violations in the region. (Background text and photos).

The level of surprise will depend, perhaps, on which media the listener has been observing.

Update: 00:18. Watching BBC World news, and wondering if I misheard the German radio. Nothing on the BBC about the story. But, yes, according to a Reuters story posted on Wed 15 Oct 2008 at 2:37 EDT, a provisional court ruling was indeed made:

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – The UN’s highest court ordered Russia and Georgia on Wednesday to ensure the security of all ethnic groups in the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and adjacent areas of Georgia.

In a provisional ruling on a lawsuit filed by Georgia that alleged human rights violations by Russia in the region, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) said Georgia and Russia must refrain from sponsoring any act of racial discrimination.

It also ordered both parties to do all in their power to ensure the security of persons, freedom of movement and the protection of refugees’ property.

The court ruled it had jurisdiction to order the provisional measures and ordered both parties to inform it of their compliance.

Court rulings, including provisional orders, are binding but the court has no police force to enforce its decisions. A judgment on the merits of the case proper could take at least another year.


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