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Georgia versus Russia (Hague court application, 2008)

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Georgia versus Russia (Hague court application, 2008)

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             APPLICATION INSTITUTING PROCEEDINGS
                                  TABLE OF CONTENTS
   I.    Introduction                                                                         1
  II.   Jurisdiction of the Court                                                              6
 III.  The Facts                                                                              7
     (A)     The Republic of Georgia: from the USSR to the CIS                                 7
     (B)     The First Phase of Russia's Intervention in South Ossetia: 1990 to 1992           9
     (C)     The First Phase of Russia's Intervention in Abkhazia: 1991 to 1994               10
     (D)     The Second Phase of Russia's Intervention in South Ossetia and Abkhazia: 1994
             to 2008                                                                         17
     (E)     The Third Phase of Russia's Intervention in South Ossetia and Abkhazia: August
             2008                                                                            22
 IV.   The Claims of the Republic of Georgia                                                   27
  V.   The relief sought                                                                     29
 VI.   Judge ad hoc                                                                          31
 VII.  Reservation of rights                                                                 31
VIII.  Appointment of Agents                                                                 31


INTRODUCTION[edit]

1. The Republic of Georgia brings this Application against the Russian Federation under the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of Ali Forms of Racial Discrimination ("CERD") to establish the international responsibility of the Russian Federation for its actions on and around the territory of Georgia in breach of CERD. By this Application, the Republic of Georgia also seeks to ensure that the individual rights under CERD of ail persons on the territory of Georgia are fully respected and protected. Article 22 of CERD confers jurisdiction on the International Court of Justice to resolve disputes between the State parties.

2. The Russian Federation, acting through its organs, agents, persons and entities exercising elements of governmental authority, and through South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatist forces under its' direction and control, has practiced, sponsored and supported racial discrimination through attacks against, and mass-expulsion of, ethnic Georgians, as well as other ethnic groups, in the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of the Republic of Georgia. These actions have resulted in significant changes in the ethnic composition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The Russian Federation seeks to consolidate these changes by preventing the return to South Ossetia and Abkhazia of forcibly displaced ethnic Georgians citizens and by undermining Georgia's capacity to exercise jurisdiction in this part of its territory. The changed demographic situation in South Ossetia and Abkhazia is intended to provide the foundation for the unlawful assertion of independence from Georgia by the de facto South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatist authorities, as supported by the Russian Federation most egregiously in its 8 August 2008 invasion of Georgia.

3. By its accession to CERD, the Russian Federation has undertaken inter alia:

- "to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating racial discrimination in all its forms" (Article 2),
- to "prevent, prohibit and eradicate ail practices" of racial segregation (Article 3),
- to eradicate ail incitement to, or acts of, discrimination based on superiority on grounds of ethnicity (Article 4),
- to "prohibit and to eliminate racial discrimination in ail its forms" and guarantee the enjoyment of fundamental human rights (Article 5), and
- to provide "effective protection and remedies" against acts of racial discrimination (Article 6).

4. Racial discrimination is defined in Article 1of CERD as:

Any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.

5. The Russian Federation has violated its obligations under CERD during three distinct phases of its interventions in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

6. In the first phase between 1991 and 1994, the Russian Federation provided essential support to South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatists in their attacks against, and mass- expulsion of, virtually the entire ethnic Georgian population of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. This resulted in the killing of thousands of civilians and the forced displacement of over 300,000 people. Support from the Russian Federation included the provision of weapons and supplies and the recruitment of mercenaries to support separatist forces in both regions, and, in the case of Abkhazia, the deployment of Russian armed forces directly to assist military operations conducted by the separatists. The United Nations ("UN") and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe ("OSCE") have repeatedly characterised the attacks on civilian populations in Abkhazia as an instance of"ethnic c1 cleaning".[1]

7. The Russian Federation's sponsorship and support of the South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatists in their campaigns to change the ethnic composition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia through the forced transfer of ethnic Georgians from their homes and communities is manifestly inconsistent with the obligations it has assumed under CERD.

8. The second phase of the Russian Federation's intervention commenced in South Ossetia with the 24 June 1992 Agreement on the Principles of the Settlement of the Georgian- Ossetian Conflict signed by Georgia, the South Ossetian separatist forces, and the Russian Federation (the "Sochi Agreement"). In Abkhazia, second phase of Russian intervention began with the 14 May 1994 Moscow Agreement on a Ceasefire and Separation of Forces signed by Georgia, the Abkhaz separatist forces and the Russian Federation (the "Moscow Agreement").

9. These Agreements formalized the Russian Federation's dual status as a party to those conflicts and as an ostensible peacekeeper and facilitator of negotiations. By implementing racially discriminatory policies in South Ossetia and Abkhazia under cover of its peacekeeping mandate, the Russian Federation has sought to consolidate the forced displacement of the ethnic Georgian and other populations that resulted from "ethnic cleansing" from 1991-1994. In particular, the Russian Federation has supported the South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatists' quest for independence from Georgia. Achieving this goal necessarily implies the expulsion of ethnic Georgians and other populations from their homes, and denial of their right to return to their homes and to live in peace within the sovereign territory of Georgia.

10. In furtherance of this policy, the Russian Federation has consistently frustrated the return of internally Displaced Persons (lOPs) since the conflicts of 1991-1994. As a consequence, demographic changes forced upon the population by the South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatists with Russian support are more likely to become permanent. In recognition of this situation, on 29 May 2008, the United Nations General Assembly expressed its deep concern at the "demographic changes resulting from the conflict in Abkhazia, Georgia, and regretting any attempt to alter the pre-conflict demographic composition of Abkhazia, Georgia." [2]

11. CERO recognises a right of return. CERD General Recommendation XXII (1996, Article 5 and Refugees and Displaced Persons) emphasizes that "refugees and displaced persons have the right freely to return to their homes of origin under conditions of safety" (para. 2(a)) and that "refugees and displaced persons have, after their return, to their homes of origin, the right to have restored to them property of which they were deprived in the course of the conflict and to be compensated appropriately for any such property that cannot be restored to them" (para. 2(c)). As a result of actions for which the Russian Federation is internationally responsible, ethnic Georgians and other IDPs are precluded from returning to their homes in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. According to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination:

The situations in South Ossetia and Abkhazia have resulted in discrimination against people of different ethnic origins, including a large number of internally displaced persons and refugees. On repeated occasions, attention has been drawn to the obstruction by the Abkhaz authorities of the voluntary return of displaced populations, and several recommendations have been issued by the Security Council to facilitate the free movement of refugees and internally displaced persons [3].

12. In furtherance of its policy to support South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatists, the Russian Federation has taken other actions that violate CERD. By way of example, the Russian Federation has conferred its citizenship upon almost the entire non-ethnic Georgian population of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and now seeks to justify its discriminatory military intervention on the side of the South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatists by reference to the presence of Russian citizens in those regions. Ethnic Georgians remaining in the Gali District of Abkhazia, for instance, who have refused to renounce their Georgian citizenship in favor of Russian citizenship, have faced active intimidation and harassment by soldiers associated with armed forces of the Russian Federation. In South Ossetia, those ethnic Georgians who remain have faced similar circumstances.

13. The de facto separatist authorities of South Ossetia and Abkhazia enjoy unprecedented and far-reaching support from the Russian Federation in the implementation of discriminatory policies against the ethnic Georgian population. On 6 March 2008, for example, the

Russian Government announced its withdrawal from a 1996 decision of the Executive Committee of the CIS that prohibited the transfer of military hardware and assistance to Abkhazia. The Russian President, in commenting upon this step, promised assistance to the Abkhaz separatists that was "not declarative, but practical."

14. CERD General Recommendation XXI (1996, Right to Self-Determination) recognizes the relationship between CERD and the right to self-determination of peoples, namely the right to pursue freely economic, social and cultural development without outside interference, in connection with Article 5(c) of CERD. It also recognizes that "all peoples have the right to determine freely their political status and their place in the international community based upon the principle of equal rights... and by the prohibition to subject peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation" (para. 4). CERD Recommendation XXI further recognizes, in accordance with Article 2, the importance of preserving the identity of ethnic persons and groups, and it emphasizes the importance of not "authorizing or encouraging any action which would dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States" (para. 6). The Committee has expressed the view that "international law has not recognized a general right of peoples unilaterally to declare secession from a State," and that "a fragmentation of States may be detrimental to the protection of human rights, as well as to the preservation of peace and security" (ibid). The Russian Federation's support of separatist elements within the Ossetian and Abkhaz ethnic minorities and their de facto authorities has the effect of denying the right of self-determination to the ethnic Georgians remaining in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and those seeking to return to their homes in South Ossetia and Abkhazia since the ceasefires of 1992 and 1994, respectively.

15. By recognizing and supporting South Ossetia's and Abkhazia's separatist authorities, the Russian Federation is also preventing Georgia from implementing its obligations under CERD, by assuming control over its territory. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has acknowledged that "[d]ue to lack of governmental authority" in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Georgia has "difficulty in exercising its jurisdiction with regard to the protection of human rights and the implement of the Convention" in those regions. [4]

16. The third phase of the Russian Federation's intervention in South Ossetia and Abkhazia began on 8 August 2008, when Russian forces invaded Georgian territory. Following the international recognition of Kosovo in February 2008 and discussion of Georgia's possible membership in NATO at the 4 April 2008 Bucharest Summit, the Russian Federation launched renewed and intensified efforts to legitimize the de facto South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatist authorities and to establish these provinces as independent territories in plain violation of the Russian Federation's obligations under CERD. These efforts culminated on 8 August as Russian ground forces, warships and airplanes launched a full- scale invasion of Georgia in support of ethnic separatists in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.


JURISDICTION OF THE COURT[edit]

17. Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the Court provides that:

The jurisdiction of the Court comprises ... ail matters specially provided for.

in treaties and conventions in force.

18. As Member States of the United Nations, the Republic of Georgia and the Russian Federation are parties to the Statute of the Court. Georgia and the Russian Federation are also parties to CERD. The USSR deposited its instrument of ratification on 6 March 1969, and from that time on the obligations of CERD attached to the entire territory of the former Soviet Union, including the territory of Georgia. The Russian Federation continued the treaty obligations of the former USSR from the date of its dissolution in 1991. Without prejudice to any question of automatic succession of human rights treaties, Georgia deposited an instrument of accession to CERD on 2 July 1999. Neither party has entered any reservation to Article 22, which provides:

Any dispute between two or more States Parties with respect to the interpretation or application of this Convention, which is not settled by negotiation or by the procedures expressly provided for in this Convention, shall, at the request of any of the parties to the dispute, be referred to the International Court of Justice for decision, unless the disputants agree to another mode of settlement.

19. Upon the filing of the present Application, any matters in dispute between Georgia and the Russian Federation concerning the interpretation or application of CERD are subject to the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court.

20. Georgia also reserves its right to invoke Article IX of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide as an additional basis for the jurisdiction of the Court. Article IX provides:

Disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application or fulfillment of the present Convention, including those

relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide or for any of the other acts enumerated in article Ill, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute.

21. Georgia and the Russian Federation are parties to the Genocide Convention, from IL October 1993 and 3 May 1954 respectively. Neither has entered a reservation to Article IX of the Genocide Convention.


THE FACTS[edit]

(A) The Republic of Georgia: from the USSR to the CIS[edit]

22. following the dissolution of Tsarist Russia in 1917, the Democratic Republic of Georgia became an independent State from 1918 until its occupation by the Red Army in 1921. In 1922 it was forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union as the nominally sovereign Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic (hereinafter "Georgia" or "Georgian SSR").

23. From 1988 on wards, during the perestroika¯ reforms implemented by the then Secretary- General of the Soviet Communist Party, Mikhail S. Gorbachev, a movement emerged for the resumption of Georgia's sovereignty. The Soviet Communist Party was determined to defeat this movement. On 9 April 1989, the Soviet armed forces were ordered to attack a peaceful pro-independence demonstration in front of the Georgian Parliament in Tbilisi, killing and injuring many civilians.

24. Under the 1922 Constitution of the Georgian SSR, South Ossetia enjoyed the status of an autonomous "oblast", or District. On 20 September, 1990, the Regional Public Council of the South Ossetian Autonomous District adopted a declaration on the "Sovereignty of South Ossetia" that unilaterally declared its secession from Georgia.

25. Under the 1922 Georgian SSR Constitution, the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia had the status of a federated entity. On 25 August 1990, the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia adopted a Declaration "On the State Sovereignty of the Abkhaz Republic." 1t called upon the Soviet authorities in Moscow to grant the region independence from Georgia while remaining in the Soviet Union.

26. On 31 March 1991, a referendum was held on the restoration of Georgia's Declaration of Independence of 1918. Fully 99% of the citizens of Georgia voted in favor of independence among 90.5% of eligible voters. Georgia subsequently declared independence on 9 April 1991 and was admitted as a Member State of the United Nations on 6 July 1992, within the boundaries it had when it was a Soviet Republic. The internationally recognized sovereign territory of Georgia included the entire region of South Ossetia and the entire region of Abkhazia.

27. The USSR was dissolved on 8 December 1991. Two days later, on 10 December 1991, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was established. Georgia initially opted not to become a member of the CIS. By December 1993, however, Georgia was left with no option but to reverse this decision. In the intervening period, Abkhaz separatists had murdered and forcibly expel\led the majority ethnic Georgian population in Abkhazia and South Ossetian separatists had forcibly displaced significant numbers of ethnic Georgians and undermined Georgian sovereignty over the region. In both cases, the separatist cause received substantial support from the Russian Federation including its armed forces. Georgia was devastated and dismembered by war. In exchange for an end to further ethnic conflict and violent discriminatory acts that it had instigated and supported, the Russian Federation demanded Georgian membership in the CIS as a pre-condition for deployment of all-Russian CIS peacekeeping forces. The Russian Federation thereafter asserted its role as a "neutral" intermediary between Georgia and the South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatists despite its partial role in the armed conflict.

(B) The First Phase of Russia's Intervention in South Ossetia: 1990-1992[edit]

28. In the last official census of the Tskhinvali region - commonly referred to as South Ossetia - conducted in 1989 before the outbreak of hostilities, the South Ossetian Autonomous District had a population of just under 100,000 people, with 66% ethnic Ossetians and 29% ethnic Georgians. South Ossetia has always had one of the highest rates of intermarriage in the former Soviet Union, with more than 50% of families of mixed Georgian-Ossetian descent. Historically, Ossetians and Georgians lived together in peace. Despite Russian support for the ethnic separatists, Ossetians still participate in and are represented in the multi-ethnic Georgian State.

29. On 10 November 1989, the Regional Public Council of the South Ossetian Autonomous District formally requested the Georgian Supreme Soviet to upgrade the status of the District to "Autonomous Republic." After the Georgian Supreme Soviet refused, on 28 November 1990, the Regional Public Council of the South Ossetian Autonomous District re-named the District the "Soviet Republic of South Ossetia," and scheduled elections for a new Supreme Council to be held on 9 December 1990. Although 71 % .of the local population voted in the election, it was boycotted by the entire ethnic Georgian population of South Ossetia.

30. On IL December 1990, the Georgian Supreme Soviet declared the 9 December elections illegitimate (a view echoed by the international community), annulled the results, and abolished the Autonomous District of South Ossetia and its Regional Public Council.

31. Following these events, violent conflict broke out. Soviet Russian troops were dispatched to "maintain order" in the region. The Georgian Supreme Soviet objected to Moscow's involvement with internal Georgian affairs, and demanded that the Soviet Russian troops be withdrawn. Moscow ignored Georgia's statements and on 7 January 1991, President Gorbachev issued a decree ordering ail armed units except troops of the U.S.S.R. to withdraw from South Ossetia. The Georgian Supreme Soviet rejected this decree, calling it "gross interference in Georgia's internal affairs and encroachment on its territorial integrity."[5]. Throughout 1991, coinciding with Georgia's Declaration of independence on 9 April, over 1,000 people were killed in the fighting in South Ossetia. During this time, some 23,000 ethnic Georgians were forced to flee South Ossetia and settle in other parts of Georgia.[6]

32. On 24 June 1992, hostilities formally came to an end following the Agreement on the Principles of the Settlement of the Georgian-Ossetian Conflict (the "Sochi Agreement"). Under the Sochi Agreement, the Joint Peacekeeping Forces group ("JPKF") was created to monitor the ceasefire in South Ossetia. The JPKF was dominated by ostensibly neutral Russian peacekeepers that, consistent with the policy of the Russian Federation, supported the South Ossetian ethnic separatists in their quest for Independence from Georgia up to and including Russia's invasion of Georgia in August 2008. As observed by an authoritative report, Russian CIS peacekeeping forces "provided inadequate protection of Georgians in South Ossetia. [7]

(C) The First Phase of Russia's Intervention in Abkhazia: 1991 to 1994[edit]

33. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, Abkhaz separatists under the leadership of Vladislav Ardzinba sought to secede from the Republic of Georgia, including by the use of force. The ethnic composition of Abkhazia was an impediment to their objective. According to the 1989 Soviet Census, at that time the Abkhaz population was approximately 525,100 and consisted of the following ethnic groups: 45.7% Georgians, 17.8% Abkhazians, 14.6% Armenians, 14.2% Russians, 2.8% Greeks, 2.2% Ukrainians, and 0.1 % Byelorussians, Jews and others. The majority of the Abkhaz regional population, and the overwhelming majority of the population of 4.5 million,

supported Georgian State institutions in Abkhazia. To solve this demographic "problem", the separatists established parallel institutions dominated by the Abkhaz minority, and prepared for the forceful elimination of ethnic Georgians and other groups loyal to the newly established Georgian State. This quest to change the demographic composition of Abkhazia was contingent upon active Russian support for its success. As there were less than 100,000 Abkhaz in the region, the Abkhaz separatists could not succeed in expelling the 240,000-strong Georgian majority and eliminating the Georgian State's authority in Abkhazia without such external assistance.

34. Amidst increasing ethnic tensions and lawlessness, the self-proclaimed Abkhaz Supreme Soviet declared its sovereignty on 23 July 1992. Abkhaz separatists had procured the support of the Russian forces stationed in military bases located on the territory of Georgia (in particular in the Gudauta District close to the Russian border), to execute an offensive against the other ethnic populations living in Abkhazia. The provision of weapons and essential supplies to the Abkhaz separatists by the Russian military transformed the conflict in Abkhazia. From a series of isolated clashes between ethnic groups, the fighting escalated into a full-scale armed conflict. According to an authoritative 1995 report:

Abkhaz forces prior to the outbreak of hostilities had relatively few weapons except for small arms, and especially few, if any, heavy weapons, such as heavy artillery, that later came to play a prominent role in the fighting... there is little doubt that whatever weapons there were come from Russian or Soviet sources.[8]

35. By the time the State Council of the Republic of Georgia deployed its Republican Guards in Abkhazia to restore law and order, the stage was set for civil war. Despite considerable Resistance by the majority ethnic Georgian population, Abkhaz separatist forces heavily armed by Russian forces, and with the direct support of Russian armed forces in hostilities on their side, succeeded in defeating Georgian forces in Abkhazia. Georgian cities, towns and villages were bombarded both by the Russian air force and by Russian naval battleships from sea. Many of those fighting alongside the Abkhaz separatists were mercenaries recruited with the support of Russia. Although human rights abuses were committed by ail parties, the turning point in the conflict and the beginning of large-scale attacks on ethnic Georgians came towards the end of 1992. In September 1992, heavily armed Abkhaz insurgents, acting in concert with Russian troops and mercenaries, began an assault in the Gagra District of north-western Abkhazia, close to the Russian border. A cease-fire agreement was brokered by the Russian Federation on 3 September 1992 and Georgian forces withdrew from the city of Gagra in accordance with its terms. After the Russian Federation facilitated the withdrawal of Georgian forces, Abkhaz insurgents, together with Cossacks and Chechen mercenaries under Shamyl Basaev attacked Gagra on October 1 and captured it the following day. It is estimated that nearly 20,000 Georgian civilians fled Gagra prior to the arrival of Abkhaz insurgents. Of those who remained, few survived a violent campaign by the Abkhaz separatists and their allies to eliminate the ethnic Georgian population. The pre-war population of Gagra was 28% ethnic Georgian and 9.1 % Abkhaz. By 1997 the demographies of the population had been transformed, so that only 3% were ethnic Georgian and 36.28% were Abkhaz.

36. As the armed conflict moved to the southeast towards the strategically important Abkhaz capital City of Sukhumi, there was an escalation of the violence due to the increased involvement of Russian armed forces in the hostilities. From 5 January 1993, Abkhaz and Russian armed forces jointly besieged and tried unsuccessfully to retake Sukhumi from the Georgian Republican Guards. The forces had considerable difficulty in capturing the City, which had an ethnically mixed civilian population of nearly 120,000, of which 41.5% were ethnic Georgian and only 2.5% Abkhazian. On 20 February 1993, the Russian Defence Ministry dispatched a SU-25. fighter-bomber to attack Sukhumi. An American journalist, Thomas Goltz, who witnessed the attack, stated that the airplane dropped a 500-pound bomb that "pulverized a two-story residence and [tore] off the back halves of four surrounding houses..." [9] Afterwards, the airplane returned and its "wing cannon and machine guns raked a street about 200 meters away From the bombing site, catching people outdoors who had emerged from the relative safety of their homes to help neighbours buried under the rubble..."[10]. After initially denying the air raid and then blaming it on the Georgians, the then Russian Defence Minister Pavel Grachev admitted the Russian attack but claimed that it "had taken place in revenge for Georgian shelling of areas close to Eshera, a Russian defence research centre and military base not far north of the Gumista River."[11] In another incident on 19 March, Georgian forces downed a Russian SU-27 fighter-bomber. A United Nations Military Observer invited noted that "both the downed aircraft and the dead pilot confirmed that it was the advanced aircraft the Georgians claimed it was and that the pilot's papers identified him as a major in the Russian air force."[12]

37. In contrast with the hostilities during 1992, an authoritative independent report noted that: The role of Russian actors in the conflict became considerably more pronounced during the first six months of 1993. This was precisely at a time when human rights abuses and violations of the laws of war attributable to heavy weapons obtained from Russian sources were becoming more serious. The Russian military took a direct role in hostilities on several occasions, and appears to have provided logistical support and supplies to the Abkhaz. [13].

38. Russian participation in hostilities was not limited to aerial bombardment. The same report concluded that:

The air attacks over Sukhumi were the most verifiable case of Russian forces aiding the Abkhaz. But there were other instances in which the

evidence is persuasive that Russian forces were involved in logistics and supply at this point in the conflict. It is very likely, for example, that Russian forces supplied extensive military assistance to the Abkhaz fighters during sea-borne landings in attempts to retake Sukhumi. ... [Furthermore] at least some heavy weapons, transport and fuel were supplied by Russian forces. [14]

39. On 27 July 1993, after several months of stalemate between the parties and the exhaustion of the civilian population, the Russian Federation mediated a cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Georgian forces withdrew their heavy weapons from Sukhumi. On 16 September, after the Georgian defences were largely removed, Abkhaz insurgents, Cossacks, and Northern Caucasus mercenaries, in concert with Russian armed forces, unilaterally broke the cease-fire and restarted the artillery and aerial bombardment against the civilian population.

40. This new offensive against the civilian population provoked the mass flight of the entire ethnic Georgian population, as well as ethnic Greek and Jewish civilian population of Sukhumi and surrounding areas. An independent report observed that: The Abkhaz attacks triggered a mass flight of Georgian civilian that international relief organizations roughly estimated at 230,000 to 250,000 people. Some 50,000 of those fleeing came from Sukhumi. Those who fled along the main highway.. . had to contend with continuing fighting... A second road out of Sukhumi led across the mountains behind Sukhumi, the 10,000 foot passes of the Caucasus, through the Kodori valley to the peaks of Svanetia and the Russian border beyond. This route described by one joumalist as a "caravan of trauma" spelled tragedy for thousands. '" Journalists described scenes of "refugees who had been stranded for weeks, lashed by rain and snow, sleeping fifty to a house or camping out in rickety Soviet-era cars. A blizzard in early October claimed many; their bodies remained by the sides of trails in the mountain passes...[15]

41. After the fall of Sukhumi, Abkhaz separatist leader Vladislav Ardzinba expressed his gratitude to the Russian "volunteers" who had supported the military operations.

42. Upon the conclusion of the joint Abkhaz-Russian offensive in Sukhumi District, virtually the entire ethnic Georgian population had been displaced. Whereas before the conflict 44.1 % of the population of the District was ethnic Georgian and only 5.1 % was Abkhaz, 1997 statistics indicated that the ethnic composition had changed to 5% ethnic Georgian and 59.9% Abkhaz.

43. To the southeast of Sukhumi, a campaign of attacks on ethnic Georgians continued unabated in Ochamchire, which fell to Abkhaz forces during September 1993. Before the violence in Ochamchire District, its ethnic composition was 46.2% ethnic Georgian and 36.7% Abkhaz. It was later 3% ethnic Georgian and 56.84% Abkhaz.

44. The attacks on ethnic Georgians continued beyond Ochamchire to the remote Gali District on the border of the Abkhaz region with the rest of Georgia. More than 90% of the population in Gali was ethnic Georgian, and less than 1% was Abkhaz. On approach of the Abkhaz insurgents and mercenaries on 29 September 1993, much of the population fled in fear that the same atrocities committed elsewhere would be visited upon them. Since Gali is a remote region without an Abkhaz population, the Abkhaz forces eventually withdrew from the District because they could not control the territory. The ethnic Georgians returned soon after, to scenes of death and devastation. This population, representing the only remaining Georgian presence in Abkhazia after the hostilities (together with a small population of ethnic Svans in the Kodori gorge), would face new attacks in 1998, and continues to be persecuted until the present.

45. The attacks on ethnic Georgians came to a close towards the end of 1993 when almost ail ethnic Georgians except those in Gali District had been removed from Abkhazia.

46. A summary of the events is set out in the 1994 United States State Department Report on Human Rights Practices:

The [Abkhaz] separatist forces committed widespread atrocities against the Georgian civilian population, killing many women, children, and elderly, capturing some as hostages and torturing others... they also killed large numbers of Georgian civilians who remained behind in Abkhaz-seized territory... The separatists launched a reign of terror against the majority Georgian population, although other nationalities also suffered... Those fleeing Abkhazia made highly credible claims of atrocities, including the killing of civilians without regard for age or sex. Corpses recovered from Abkhaz-held territory showed signs of extensive torture.[16]

47. The Russian Federation played an important role in ensuring the victory of Abkhaz forces. An independent report in 1995 observed that:

The conflict in Abkhazia was heightened by the involvement of Russia, mostly on the Abkhaz side, especially during the war's initial stages. Whereas Russia has endorsed the territorial integrity of the Republic of Georgia, Russian arms found their way into Abkhaz hands, Russian planes bombed civilian targets in Georgian-controlled territory, and Russian military vessels, manned by supporters of the Abkhaz side, were made available to shell Georgian-held Sukhumi...[17].

48. Upon conclusion of the cease-fire agreement on 24 May 1994, Georgia had to contend with more than a quarter of a million refugees from Abkhazia. More than five thousand of its civilian citizens had been murdered, and a similar number were missing and presumed dead.

49. From 1993 onwards, the UN Security Council condemned the situation, referring to reports of attacks on ethnic Georgians from Abkhazia and calling for their unconditional return. Security Council Resolution 876 of 19 October 1993 expressed deep concern at reports of "ethnic cleansing" and affirmed "the right of refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes" (para. 5).

50. The OSCE 1994 Budapest Document expressed "deep concern over 'ethnic cleansing', the massive expulsion of people, predominantly Georgian, from their living areas and the deaths of large numbers of innocent civilians."[18] The OSCE 1996 Lisbon Document affirms its "utmost support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders", [19] and, moreover:

Condemn[s] the 'ethnic cleansing' resulting in mass destruction and forcible expulsion of predominantly Georgian population in Abkhazia. Destructive acts of separatists, inc1uding obstruction of the return of refugees and displaced persons and the decision to hold elections in Abkhazia. .. undermine the positive efforts undertaken to promote political settlement of these conflicts [20].

51. The OSCE 1999 Istanbul Document reiterated its "strong condemnation... of the 'ethnic cleansing' resulting in mass destruction and forcible expulsion of predominantly Georgian population in Abkhazia, Georgia, and of the violent acts in May 1998 in the Gali region." [21]

(D) The Second Phase of Russia's Intervention in South Ossetia and Abkhazia: 1994 to 2008[edit]

52. Having sustained heavy losses and the forcible expulsion of approximately 300,000 of its citizens from Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the years after the dissolution of the U.S.S.R., Georgia was left with no practical option but to accept Russian demands that it become a member of CIS as a pre-condition for an end to the conflict. On 24 June 1992 Georgia and the South Ossetian insurgents signed the Sochi Agreement. On 1 December 1993, Georgia and the Abkhaz insurgents signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Geneva. On 9 December 1993, Georgia became an official member of the CIS. This was fol1owed by a cessation of hostilities with Abkhaz forces. On 14 May 1994 the Abkhaz separatists and the Georgian government signed the Moscow Agreement on a Ceasefire and Separation of Forces. This Agreement was endorsed by the Decision of the Heads of State of the CIS on· 22 August 1994, which provided that the mandate of Russian CIS peacekeepers was "to facilitate the safe and dignified return of persons displaced from the conflict zone to the places of their former permanent residence.[22]

53. Instead of exerting influence over the Abkhaz and South Ossetian separatists to allow for the return of IOPs, however, the Russian Federation has pursued a policy of creeping annexation of both regions. The Russian Federation has unilaterally conferred citizenship on over 90% of the population in South Ossetia and approximately 100,000 people in Abkhazia, with the limited exception of ethnic Georgians in the Gali District of Abkhazia, who have refused to accept Russian citizenship and have been subjected to increasing pressure and threats to renounce their Georgian citizenship. The Russian Federation has long argued that it has the right to use force to protect its "citizens" on Georgian territory; indeed, the Russian government reiterated this claim as justification for its 8 August 2008 invasion of Georgia (discussed below), stating that "the Russian Federation will not leave its citizens and peacekeepers in South Ossetia to the mercy of fate and will take ail necessary measures to protect them.[23]

54. Furthermore, with the encouragement of the Russian Federation, Russian citizens have invested heavily in South Ossetia and Abkhazia during the past 15 years, including the purchase of properties belonging to Georgian IOPs around Sukhumi (in Abkhazia) and elsewhere. Likewise, Russian companies have made a series of high profile and unauthorized investments in the South Ossetian economy, including several lead and zinc mines in the province.

55. The Russian Federation has also systematically attempted to undermine Georgia's territorial sovereignty by taking steps to recognize the independence of the "Republic of South Ossetia" and providing political support to the separatist government of South Ossetia. These attempts date back to at least 6 March 1993, when the High Council of North Ossetia, a political subdivision of the Russian Federation, recognized the independence of the "Republic of South Ossetia." Likewise, on 22 March 1993, the Supreme Council of the Russian Federation itself put the question of recognition of the "Republic of South Ossetia" on its formal agenda.

56. Notwithstanding mounting Russian support for the separatists, the security situation in South Ossetia was relatively stable during the 12 years between 1992 and 2004. In 2004, however, the Georgian government was compelled to launch a nationwide effort to combat the increasing threat of organized crime, which revolved around contraband smuggling and drug trafficking networks operating out of Ergneti Market in Tskhinvali. In June 2004, the Georgian government shut down Ergneti Market, revenue from which was a key source of funding and supplies for the separatist authorities.

57. South Ossetian separatist forces retaliated with force. On 11 June 2004, separatist leader Eduard Kokoity declared that "South Ossetia is cutting off all relations with Tbilisi [24]. Shortly thereafter, South Ossetian forces operating with Russian assistance c10sed highways, detained Georgian troops and fired mortars at Georgian villages in July and August 2004, killing dozens. On 7 July 2004, Georgian peacekeepers intercepted a Russian convoy carrying military equipment, inc1uding some 300 missiles. [25] The following day, around 50 Georgian peacekeepers were disarmed and detained for several days by South Ossetian forces.

58. On 11 July 2004, Georgian president Saakashvili said the "crisis in South Ossetia is not a problem between Georgians and Ossetians. This is a problem between Georgia and Russia.[26] Highlighting the Russian provision of armored personnel carriers, tanks, fuel and other military equipment to the South Ossetian separatists, the Georgian government appealed to the international community, in particular the OSeE, to increase its role and presence inside the zone of conflict.

59. Notably, several senior South Ossetian military officials operating during this time period were former high-ranking Russian officers. Anatoly Ivanovich Sisoev, chief military adviser to Eduard Kokoity in 2004, is a Russian citizen and a former employee of the Intelligence Service of the Russian Ministry of Defense. During the escalation of the conflict in the summer of 2004, he was the official primarily responsible for the receipt and allocation of volunteer fighters, many from the Russian Federation, who joined the irregular South Ossetian forces. Anatoly Konstantinovich Barankevich, the South Ossetian minister of defense from summer 2004 to December 2006 is a Russian citizen and, during the time he served in South Ossetia, was a colonel on active duty in the Russian Army. Officially, he was away from Russia on "business leave." Starting on 11 December 2006, he served as secretary of the security council of South Ossetia.

60. Russian military men make up not only the military leadership of South Ossetia, but also its police forces. In 2004, ex-Russian general Vasili Alekseevich Platov served as Eduard Kokoity's advisor on the interior. This position is now held by Russian general Aleksander Andreevich Shaposhnikov, JPKF Deputy Commander. From January 2006 to January 2007, it was held by Aleksander Aleksandrovic Klimenko, a colonel in the Russian Army.

61. Similarly, since January 2006, the border security office of the state security committee of South Ossetia has been entirely controlled by the active officers of the state border security unit of the Russian federal security service. The office is run by Russian lieutenant-general Valery Alekseevic Chugunov; the head of the headquarters is Russian colonel Oleg Genadievich Chebotariov; and first deputy head of the headquarters is Russian vice-colonel Genady Nikolaevich Emelianenko.

62. South Ossetian military forces have received extensive training in Russian territory, including at least 18 joint exercises at Russia's 58th Army Base, located in North Ossetia, during 2005-2006. Kokoity himselftravelled to Moscow for military consultations at least monthly during the period ofheaviest fighting in the summer months of2004.

63. On 12 November 2006, the South Ossetian separatists held a presidential election in which ethnic Ossetians voted overwhelmingly for Eduard Kokoity. In a parallel election held on the same day in South Ossetian villages not controlled by the separatists, Dmitry Sanakoyev won the presidency with more than 80% of the vote. A former South Ossetian secessionist and prime minister from July to December 2001, when he was sacked by Kokoity, Sanakoyev led the "Salvation Union of South Ossetia" with a platform for multi-ethnic cooperation and economic development in the region. Sanakoyev constituted his government in December 2006 and was appointed Head of the Provisional Administration of South Ossetia by Georgian president Saakashvili on 10 May 2007. The following day, Sanakoyev addressed the Georgian Parliament in Ossetic, stating, "There is a political will in Georgia to find a realistic solution to this conflict by mutual compromise. This will is reflected in the recent economic reconstruction of our region, which raised hopes for final and peaceful resolution of the conflict. Now there is a belief that Georgians and Ossetians will live side by side in fraternity. This belief encouraged me and my friends to become leaders of the newly formed social-political movement that aims to establish peace and democracy in the region.[27] Sanakoyev's vision of a multi-ethnic South Ossetia has led to clashes with Kokoity and generated threats against him from Ossetian separatists. Just over a month ago, on 3 July 2008, he survived an attack on his convoy, when a vehicle carrying his security personnel was struck by a remote controlled mine [28].

64. Similarly, in July 2006, Georgian forces reestablished control of the region surrounding the Kodori Gorge in Upper Abkhazia. On 27 September 2006, despite strong Abkhaz separatist and Russian protests, an independent, multi-ethnic government was inaugurated there, allowing the local Georgian population to take part in elections for the first time since the area was overrun by separatists 13 years earlier [29].

(E) The Third Phase of Russia's Intervention in South Ossetia and Abkhazia: August 2008[edit]

65. The international recognition of Kosovo in February 2008, combined with Georgia's expression of its intention to seek NATO membership at the 4 April 2008 Bucharest Summit, catalysed renewed and intensified efforts by the Russian Federation to give legitimacy to the de facto South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatist authorities and to consolidate moves to establish these provinces as independent, ethnically homogenous territories in plain violation of the Russian Federation's obligations under CERO.

66. Beginning in or around February 2008, Russia has pursued provocative and hostile measures against Georgia that significantly escalated tensions in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and opened the door to further conflict. In particular, following more than 15 years of supporting ethnic separatists, the Russian Federation moved to unilaterally recognize both South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent States. At a Press Conference on 14 February 2008, Russia's then-President Vladimir Putin explained that if Kosovo was recognized as an independent State, there would be reason for the international community to grant South Ossetia and Abkhazia the same status.[30]. True to President Putin's word, a series of measures taken by Russian State organs called for formally recognizing the separatist authorities in defacto control of both regions following Kosovo's declaration of independence on 17 February.

67. On 6 March 2008 the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced its withdrawal from a 1996 CIS decision, which, inter alia, prohibited the transfer of military hardware and assistance to Abkhazia. Shortly thereafter, on 21 March 2008, the Russian State Duma adopted a Resolution calling on the Government to consider "the expediency of recognizing the independence" of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and calling for greater support to "Russian citizens" in both regions.[31] In an address to the Duma on 2 April, the Russian Foreign Minister said that he would carefully consider its recommendations and promised to provide support to the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, "most of which are citizens of Russia"[32].

68. The next day, on 3 April 2008, Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote a letter to the separatist leaders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia referring to them as "President" and promising them Russian support. The letter also indicated that any policies implemented by Georgia "to exert pressure on Abkhazia and South Ossetia" will be "unsuccessful and counter-productive." More significantly, President Putin emphasized that support of the separatists will be "not declarative, but practical" referring to the Russian Federation's withdrawal from the CIS decision on restriction of military assistance as a practical step in this direction.

69. On 16 April 2008, President Putin issued a Decree authorizing Russian State agencies to "interact with the de facto governmental bodies of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, including establishment of cooperation in trade-economic, social, scientific-technical fields". The Decree also envisages further interaction with the separatist authorities "in favour of the social-economic development of these republics, protection of the rights of the population living there, including the Russian citizens". In addition, the Foreign Ministry declared that documents issued by the de facto separatist authorities of Abkhazia and South Ossetia were to be henceforth recognized in Russia, as will legal entities registered by these de facto entities. In commenting on these new measures, the Russian Foreign Ministry reasoned that they are justified because "Georgia does not exercise jurisdiction over these territories in a full sense, control is exercised by de facto governmental bodies."

70. During this period, the international community also expressed serious concern for the protection of the rights under CERD of Gali's remaining Georgian citizens. During her visit to Abkhazia on 27 February 2008, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, expressed concern at the denial of education in the "mother tongue," referring to the situation of ethnic Georgians in Gali who are forced to follow the Russian curriculum at school.[33]. From late April 2008 onwards, Abkhaz authorities have increasingly pressured these people to obtain Russian citizenship and passports, and threatened them with punitive taxes or expulsions if they refuse to comply. There have increasing reports of intimidation by Russian soldiers not belonging to the CIS peacekeeping forces that have looted and invaded the homes of ethnic Georgians in Gali District, some of whom have decided to leave Abkhazia fearing for their safety.

71. On 29 May 2008, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 62/249, expressing deep concern at "the demographic changes resulting from the conflict in Abkhazia, Georgia, and regretting any attempt to alter the pre-conflict demographic composition in Abkhazia, Georgia" (preambular paragraph 6). The Resolution:

Recognizes the right of return of al! refugees and internal!y displaced persons and their descendants, regardless of ethnicity, to Abkhazia, Georgia; Emphasizes the importance of preserving the property rights of refugees and internal!y displaced persons from Abkhazia, Georgia, including

victims of reported 'ethnic c1eansing', and calls upon al! Member States to deter persons under their jurisdiction from obtaining property within the territory of Abkhazia, Georgia, in violation of the rights of returnees; and Underlines the urgent need for the rapid development of a timetable to ensure the prompt voluntary return of all refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes in Abkhazia, Georgia.

72. In addition to the Russian measures designed to strengthen the legitimacy of the de facto institutions of the separatists during this time, the Russian Federation also increased its military activities in both regions as a prelude to its invasion of Georgia in August 2008. The catalyst for Russia's adoption of a more aggressive position towards Georgia was the NATO Summit in Bucharest on 2-4 April 2008, during which Georgia's possible membership in NATO was discussed. On 8 April 2008, in an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that Moscow "will do everything not to alllow Georgia's ... accession to NATO [34]. On 11 April 2008, in an interview with RIA Novosti news agency, General Yuri Baluevsky, the Chief-of-Staff of the Russian armed forces, indicated that in the event Georgia joined NATO, "Russia will undertake measures to defend its interest at its state borders[35].

73. These hostile statements were followed by a significant escalation of Russia's military presence, initially in Abkhazia. During May and June of 2008, Russia unilaterally deployed combat troops and heavy artil1ery in Abkhazia. Eyewitnesses and news reports state that the newly deployed troops did not wear either the blue helmet or the special uniform of the Commonwealth of Independent States' (CIS) peacekeepers as required under existing agreements. In a particularly alarming incident, on 18 May 2008, a convoy of 42 armoured personnel·carriers and military trucks with Russian peacekeepers crossed the cease-fire line separating separatist-controlled territory from Georgian-controlled territory, entered the homes of local ethnic Georgian residents and looted their property.

74. Russia's military build-up was accompanied by a campaign of discrimination against ethnic Georgians and others who might be opposed to the extension of Russian influence in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. On 30 April 2008, the Chairman of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe stated: "The latest events, including the decision of the Russian Federation to establish official ties with Georgia's breakaway regions ... and the recent military build-up have considerably increased tension in the region[36]. On 5 June 2008, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in which it "[u]rges the Russian Federation to withdraw its additional troops in Abkhazia immediately" and takes the view that "the present peacekeeping format must be revised since the Russian troops have lost their role of neutral and impartial peacekeepers". The resolution "[e]xpresses its deep concern at the escalation of the situation in Abkhazia" and its "deep disapproval at Russia's announcement that it would establish official ties with institutions within the separatist authorities of ... Abkhazia[37].

75. In view of these developments, ethnic Georgian internally displaced persons (IOPs) increasingly became convinced that they would never be able to return to their homes either in Abkhazia or South Ossetia because of Russia's efforts to create a fait accompli by recognizing the de facto regimes imposed by the ethnic separatists.

76. In contrast to Russian attempts to nurture the creation of ethnically homogenous states that are politically, economically, socially and militarily beholden to it, Georgia has consistently strived for the integration of multi-ethnic Abkhaz and South Ossetian societies into a democratic Georgian state. Consistent with the right to self determination as reorganized by CERO Recommendation XXI (1996), Georgia has consistently offered both regions "unlimited autonomy". It has also steadfastly pressed for the right of ail IOPs (regardless of ethnicity) to return to their homes.

77. In response to the persistent shelling of ethnic Georgian villages in South Ossetia by separatist forces, Georgian military forces launched a limited operation into territory held by ethnic separatists on 7 August 2008 for purposes of putting a stop to the attacks. Seizing the opportunity to realize its goal of an ethnically homogenous and compliant South Ossetia, Russia responded with a full-scale invasion of Georgian territory on 8 August 2008.

78. Beginning in the morning hours of 8 August, several thousand Russian troops invaded Georgia in a well-planned air and land attack throughout Georgian territory. Russian forces occupied more than half of Georgia and attacked civilians and civilian objects resulting in significant causalities and destruction. For instance, Russian military planes attacked residential areas in the town of Gori, located just south of South Ossetia, killing at least 150 civilians. Russian planes also bombed the main national airport in Tbilisi, as well as roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure throughout the country. In response to the escalating hostilities, Georgia proposed a ceasefire and the separation of the warring parties. Russia refused, choosing instead to press its military advantage. Statements by Russian officials left no doubt as to Russia's intentions. In the midst of Russia's relentless military assaults, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was quoted in the Russian press as stating that "[t]he breakaway region of South Ossetia is unlikely to reintegrate with the rest of Georgia".

79. As the war in South Ossetia unfolded, the situation in Abkhazia quickly began to deteriorate as well with attacks against Georgian villages in the Kodori valley. On 9 August, Russian planes bombed Georgia's Black Sea port of Poti located just south of Abkhazia. The next day, Russian supply ships began docking at Abkhazia's main port of Ochamchira. When night fell, Russian Airborne troops landed military transport aircraft. In addition, 9,000 Russian ground troops and 350 armored vehicles entered Abkhazia the same evening.

80. In light of the grossly disproportionate scale of Russia's military actions, the true purpose of its conduct is c1ear: to secure both South Ossetia and Abkhazia as ethnically homogenous client States free from Georgian political, social or cultural influence, and to prevent the return of ethnic Georgians and others who would resist Russia's de facto annexation of the territories.

IV. THE CLAIMS OF THE REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA[edit]

81. The Government of the Republic of Georgia c1aims, in its own right and as parens patriae of its citizens, that the Russian Federation, through its State organs, State agents, and other persons and entities exercising governmental authority, and through the South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatist forces and other agents acting on the instructions of, and under the direction and control of the Russian Federation, is responsible for serious violations of its fundamental obligations under CERD, including Articles 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Violations of CERD include, but are not limited to:

(a) Widespread and systematic discrimination against South Ossetia's and Abkhazia's ethnic Georgian population and other groups during the during the conflicts of 1991-1994, 1998, 2004 and 2008, reflected in acts including murder, unlawful attacks against civilians and civilian objects, torture, rape, deportation and forcible transfer, imprisonment and hostage-taking, enforced disappearance, wanton destruction and unlawful appropriation of property not justified by military necessity, and plunder;

(b) Widespread and systematic denial on discriminatory grounds of the right of South Ossetia's and Abkhazia's ethnic Georgian and other refugees and IOPs to return to their homes;

(c) Widespread and systematic unlawful appropriation and sale of homes and other property belonging to South Ossetia's and Abkhazia's ethnic Georgians and other groups forcibly displaced during the conflicts of 1991-1994, 1998, 2004 and 2008 and denied the right to return to the South Ossetian and Abkhaz regions;

(d) The continuing discriminatory treatment of ethnic Georgians in South Ossetia and in the Gali District of Abkhazia, including but not limited to pillage, hostage-taking, beatings and intimidation, denial of the freedom of movement, denial of their right to education in their mother tongue, pressure to obtain Russian citizenship and/or Russian passports, and threats of punitive taxes and expulsions for maintaining Georgian citizenship;

(e) The sponsoring, defending, and supporting of ethnic discrimination by the de facto South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatist authorities and the recognition as lawful of a situation created by a serious breach of Russia's obligations under CERD and of its obligations erga omnes, namely recognition in whole or in part of the South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatist entities amounting to recognition of a situation created by "ethnic c1eansing" constituting the crime against humanity of persecution and systematic discrimination on ethnic grounds;

(f) Preventing the Republic of Georgia from exercising jurisdiction over its territory in the regions of South Ossetia Abkhazia in order to implement its obligations under CERD; and

(g) The launching of a war of aggression against Georgia with the aims of (i) securing ethnically homogenous allies in South Ossetia and Abkhazia free from Georgian political, social and cultural influence; (ii) permanently denying the right of displaced ethnic Georgian's to return to their homes in South Ossetia and Abkhazia; and (iii) permanently denying ail the people of Georgia their right to self-determination in accordance with CERD.

V. THE RELIEF SOUGHT[edit]

82. The Republic of Georgia, on it own behalf and as parens palrae for its citizens, respectfully requests the Court to adjudge and declare that the Russian Federation, through its State organs, State agents, and other persons and entities exercising governmental authority, and through the South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatist forces and other agents acting on the instructions of or under the direction and control of the Russian Federation, has violated its obligations under CERD by:

(a) Engaging in acts and practices of 'racial discrimination against persons, groups of persons or institutions' and failing 'to ensure that all public authorities and public institutions, national and local, shall act in conformity with this obligation' contrary to Article 2(1)(a) of CERD;

(b) 'Sponsoring, defending and supporting racial discrimination' contrary to Article 2(1)(b) of CERD;

(c) Failing to 'prohibit and bring to an end, by ail appropriate means, including legislation as required by circumstances, racial discrimination' contrary to Article 2(1)(d) of CERD;

(d) Failing to condemn 'racial segregation' and failing to 'eradicate all practices of this nature' in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, contrary to Article 3 of CERD;

(e) Failing to 'condemn ail propaganda and ail organizations... which attempt to justify or promote racial hatred and discrimination in any form' and failing 'to adopt immediate and positive measures de~designed to eradicate ail incitement to, or acts of, such discrimination', contrary to Article 4 of CERD;

(f) Undermining the enjoyment of the enumerated fundamental human rights in Article 5 by the ethnic Georgian, Greek and Jewish populations in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, contrary to Article 5 of CERD;

(g) Failing to provide "effective protection and remedies" against acts of racial discrimination, contrary to Article 6 of CERO.

83. The Republic of Georgia, on it own behalf and as parens patrae for its citizens, respectfully requests the Court to order the Russian Federation to take ail steps necessary to comply with its obligations under CERD, including:

(a) Immediately ceasing ail military activities on the territory of the Republic of Georgia, including South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and immediate withdrawing of ail Russian military personnel from the same;

(b) Taking ail necessary and appropriate measures to ensure the prompt and effective return of IDPs to South Ossetia and Abkhazia in conditions of safety and security;

(c) Refraining from the unlawful appropriation of homes and property belonging to IOPs;

(d) Taking ail necessary measures to ensure that the remaining ethnic Georgian populations of South Ossetia and the Gali District are not subject to discriminatory treatment including but not limited to protecting them against pressures to assume Russian citizenship, and respect for their right to receive education in their mother tongue;

(e) Paying full compensation for its role in supporting and failing to bring to an end the consequences of the ethnic c1eansing that occurred in the 1991-94 conflicts, and its subsequent refusal to allow the return of IOPs;

(f) Not to recognize in any manner whatsoever the de facto South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatist authorities and the fait accompli created by ethnic cleansing;

(g) Not to take any measures that would discriminate against persons, whether legal or natural, having Georgian nationality or ethnicity within its jurisdiction or control;

(h) Allow Georgia to fulfill its obligations under CERD by withdrawing its forces from South Ossetia and Abkhazia and allowing Georgia to restore its authority and jurisdiction over those regions; and

(i) To pay full compensation to Georgia for ail injuries resulting from its internationally wrongful acts.

VI. JUDGE AD HOC[edit]

84. In accordance with the provisions of Article 31 (2), of the Statute and Article 35, paragraph l, of the Rules, the Republic of Georgia declares its intention to exercise its right to choose ajudge ad hoc.

VII. RESERVATION OF RIGHTS[edit]

85. The Republic of Georgia reserves the right to modify and extend the terms of this Application, as well as the grounds invoked.


VIII. APPOINTMENT OF AGENTS[edit]

86. The Republic of Georgia has designated as its Agents Ms. Tina Burjaliani, First Deputy- Minister of Justice, and Ms. Maia Panjikidze, Ambassador of Georgia to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. As Deputy Agent, the Republic of Georgia designates Mr. Payam Akhavan, Professor of International Law, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

87. Pursuant to Article 40, paragraph 1, of the Rules of Court, ail communications relating to this case should be sent to:

          Ms. Tina Burjaliani
          First Deputy-Minister of Justice
          Of the Republic of Georgia
          30 Rustaveli Avenue
          Tbilisi, 0146, Republic of Georgia
          Electronic mail: tburjaliani@justice.gov.ge
          Telephone: +995 (32) 75 82 05
          Telefax: +995 (32) 75 82 24

I have the honour to reassure the Court of my highest esteem and consideration.

The Hague, 12 August 2008.

Maria Panjikidze

Ambassador of Georgia to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

References[edit]

  1. UN General Assembly Resolution, 29 May 2008, A/RES/62/249; OSeE, Budapest Document 1994, 'Towards a Génuine Partnership in a New Era', 21 December 1994.
  2. UN General Assembly Resolution, 29 May 2008, A/RES/62/249.
  3. Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Georgia, 27 April 200l, CERD/C/304/Add.120, at para. 4.
  4. Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Georgia, 27 March 2007, CERD/C/GEO/CO/3, at paras 4-5.
  5. See Izvestia, "Georgian Supreme Soviet Rejects Decree," IO Jan. 1991 (edited by Human Rights Watch, Bloodshed in the Caucasus: Violations of Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in the Georgia-South Ossetia Conflict," March 1992, available at http://www.hrw.org/reports/pdfs/g/georgia/georgia.923/georgia923full.pdf
  6. Human Rights Watch, "Russia: The Ingush/Ossetian Conflict in the Prigorodnyi Region", May 1996, available at http://hrw.org/reports/1996/Russia.htm
  7. See Izvestia, "Georgian Supreme Soviet Rejects Decree," IO Jan. 1991 (edited by Human Rights Watch, Bloodshed in the Caucasus: Violations of Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in the Georgia-South Ossetia Conflict," March 1992, available at http://www.hrw.org/reports/pdfs/g/georgia/georgia.923/georgia923full.pdf
  8. Human Rights Watch Arms Project, Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, 'Georgia/Abkhazia: Violations of the Laws of War and Russia's Role in the Conflict', March 1995, Vol. 7, No. 7, pp. 18,37.
  9. T. Goltz, 'Letter from Eurasia: the Hidden Russian Hand', Foreign Policy, Fall, 1993.
  10. Ibid
  11. Ibid
  12. Ibid
  13. Human Rights Watch Arms Project, Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, 'Georgia/Abkhazia: Violations of the Laws of War and Russia's Role in the Conflict', March 1995, Vol. 7, No. 7, p. 37.
  14. ibid
  15. Ibid
  16. US Department of State, Georgia Human Rights Practices 1993,31 January 1994.
  17. Human Rights Watch Arms Project, Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, 'Georgia/Abkhazia: Violations of the Laws of War and Russia's Role in the Conflict', March 1995, Vol. 7, No. 7, p. 7.
  18. OSCE, Budapest Summit 1994, Budapest Document 'Towards a Genuine Partnership in a New Era', 21 December 1994.
  19. OSCE, Lisbon Summit 1996, Lisbon Document. 3 December 1996, para. 20.
  20. ibid
  21. 21 OSCE, Istanbul Summit 1999, Istanbul Summit Declaration, para, 13.
  22. Decision on the Use of Collective Force for Maintaining Peace in the Georgia-Abkhaz Zone of Conflict, 22 August 1994.
  23. Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "Statement by Vladimir Voronkov, Acting Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, at the Special Meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council," 8 August 2008, available at http://www.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/e78a48070fl28a7b43256999005bcbb3/f9bfcf8d8635d232c32574a2005b82f4?OpenDocument.
  24. 24 Interfax, 11 June 2004
  25. Article, "Georgia Seizes Russian Arms Convoy in South Ossetia," Civil Georgia, 7 July 2004.
  26. Article, "Saakashvili: Russia to blame for South Ossetia Crisis," Eurasia Insight, 12 July 2004.
  27. Transcript, "Speech of the Head of Provisional Administration of South Ossetia Dimitri Sanakoev in the Parliament of Georgia," 11 May 2007, available at http://www.civil.ge/englarticle.php?id=15101
  28. Article, "Three Injured in Attack on Georgian Convoy in S. Ossetia," Civil Georgia, 3 July 2008, available at http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=18674
  29. Article, "Tbilisi Tums Kodori into 'Temporary Administrative Center' of Abkhazia," Civil Georgia, 27 Sept. 2006, available at http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=13654
  30. http://www.kremlin.ru/text/appears/2008/021160108.shtml
  31. http://duma.consultant.ru/doc.asp?ID=44805
  32. http://www.mid.ru/Brp_4.nsf/arhI7C41 DAEEDA986EI EC32574250026F72F?OpenDocument
  33. United Nations Press Release, 28 February 2008, 'Georgia makes progress but human rights concerns remain, says Louise Arbour'.
  34. http://www.echo.msk.ru/programs/beseda/506017-echo/
  35. 35 http://www.civil.ge/englarticle.php?id=17561
  36. 36 Press Release, OSCE Chairman urges de-escalation of situation in Georgia.
  37. European Parliament resolution of5 June 2008 on the situation in Georgia.