Case against Syria before the International Court of Justice: Public hearings to start on 19.7.2023

The International Court of Justice will hold public hearings in the case concerning Application of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Canada and the Netherlands v. Syrian Arab Republic) starting on Wednesday 19 July 2023, at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the seat of the Court. 

The hearings will be devoted to the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by Canada and the Netherlands on 8 June 2023.

On 8 June 2023, Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands filed a joint application instituting proceedings against the Syrian Arab Republic before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), concerning alleged violations of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the “Convention against Torture”). 

In their Application, Canada and the Netherlands contend that “Syria has committed countless violations of international law, beginning at least in 2011, with its violent repression of civilian demonstrations, and continuing as the situation in Syria devolved into a protracted armed conflict”. 

According to the Applicants, “[t]hese violations include the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. Canada and the Netherlands seek to found the Court’s jurisdiction on Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the Court and on Article 30, paragraph 1, of the Convention against Torture, to which both Applicants and Syria are parties. Together with the Application, Canada and the Netherlands filed a Request for the indication of provisional measures, pursuant to Article 41 of the Statute of the Court and Articles 73, 74 and 75 of the Rules of Court, “to preserve and protect the rights owed to them under the Convention against Torture, which Syria continues to violate, and protect the lives and physical and mental integrity of individuals within Syria who are currently, or are at risk of, being subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. Pursuant to Article 74 of the Rules of Court, “[a] request for the indication of provisional measures shall have priority over all other cases”. (www.icj-cij.org)

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Editorial

Editorial
George Kazoleas, Lawyer

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