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The International Court of Justice (ICJ)

Topic 1:  International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (Georgia vs Russian Federation)

On 24 August 1991, Ukraine proclaimed its independence from the Soviet Union. At the time, the Russian Federation made solemn commitments to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence within its settled borders. However, over the course of the last decade, Russian leaders have sought to reinstate dominance over their neighbors. Following the Orange Revolution of 2004 in Ukraine, Russia has increasingly exerted pressure over Ukraine, failing to abide by its earlier promise to respect sovereign equality and territorial integrity of Ukraine. In the violent aftermath of the Revolution of Dignity of 2014, the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown and the Russian government refused to recognize the interim government, claiming the revolution was a coup d’état. The Russian Federation then engaged in a series of military incursions into Ukrainian territory, including the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula on 18 March 2014. On 16 January 2017, Ukraine instituted proceedings against the Russian Federation before the International Court of Justice with regard to alleged violations of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (ICSFT) and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). The court must then decide whether Russia’s actions fall within the scope of the violations of either treaties and, if so, to establish the due forms of reparation.