Uses and Underuses of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination at the International Court of Justice
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As many as three international disputes containing allegations of infringement of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) have been brought before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), thus contributing to the number of cases allowing the Court to pronounce itself on the international human rights law. Even though none of the cases invoking violations of ICERD has been (yet) adjudicated on the merits, they have already provided an opportunity to clarify (at least in part) the compromissory clause enshrined in Art. 22 of ICERD, as well as to tackle some other issues related to provisional measures ordered by the Court. This article discusses the ICJ’s approaches to the application of ICERD in the three above-mentioned cases, while posing the question whether indeed the 1965 Convention can be useful as a tool for settling inter-state disputes. The author claims that ICERD and the broad definition of “racial discrimination” set out in its Art. 1 constitute cornerstones for the international protection of human rights, though the recourse to the procedures provided in Art. 22 of ICERD – vital as they are – should not necessarily be perceived as a better alternative to the inter-state procedures and the functions exercised by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
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