Law 15:26 21/10/2021 Armenia

UN court hearings are about forming right international perceptions on Artsakh issue, says Armenia's representative

If the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, approves Armenia’s lawsuit against Azerbaijan, that will greatly contribute to the strengthening of the facts of the Armenian side in the negotiation process of the Artsakh conflict settlement and the international recognition of Artsakh’s self-determination, Representative of Armenia before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Yeghishe Kirakosyan, who is also representing Armenia’s interests at the ICJ, told Armenpress.

He stated that from the perspective of the Artsakh issue, not only the decision of the court, but also the current process itself are very important because they would contribute to the formation of right international perceptions.

“In general, during the court hearings we are presenting well-grounded facts from the perspective of international law. We are presenting our position which couldn’t not refer to the Artsakh or the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. It refers to it directly. We present the perceptions and positions of the Armenian side in a well-grounded and professional manner and we do this with the language of the international law, which is very important. And I think that the international support on this direction will be formed based on this. Therefore, the importance of this case is not the decision of the court only, but the process itself. When we launch this process, public speeches, oral hearings are taking place at that period, we are clearly presenting our facts, and all see it. Therefore, I think that this is also an opinion-making process. This process is about forming right international perceptions. Thus, I believe that this a very important process from this perspective,” he said.

Kirakosyan informed that the hearings over the case have been completed by the ICJ on October 19. Two hearings took place within two weeks, the one dedicated to Armenia’s request and the other to Azerbaijan’s request.

He said that during both hearings Armenia’s attorney team has presented quite strong and convincing facts and proofs, as well as has very convincingly defended Armenia’s interests during Azerbaijan’s hearings, by presenting counter-facts.

According to Kirakosyan, the process of a judicial case against Azerbaijan is important itself, as some progress has already been achieved, namely that the authorities of Azerbaijan, with Armenia’s demand, have removed the mannequins and helmets of Armenian soldiers from the so-called “Military Trophy Park” in Baku.

“I think that this is the first big achievement, because the Azerbaijani side presented the proof of removing the mannequins and helmets to the court just two-three days before the hearings, which shows that these hearings are already giving results,” Yeghishe Kirakosyan said.

He informed that ICJ will release its decision over the case in 1-1.5 months. “If by that decision we get what we want, that would be more convincing and will raise further pressure on Azerbaijan. It has already raised pressure, and in case of that decision, that pressure will multiply”, he noted.

On September 16, 2021, Armenia instituted proceedings against the Republic of Azerbaijan before the International Court of Justice with regard to alleged violations of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

Armenia also requested the court to indicate certain provisional measures “as a matter of extreme urgency”, including the return of Armenian prisoners of war and civilian captives from Azerbaijan, as well as the closure of the so-called “Military Trophies Park” in Baku.

However, for Armenia only the removal of mannequins and helmets is not enough. Kirakosyan says that from the very beginning that so-called “trophy park” opened based on the anti-Armenian ideology. Therefore, Armenia demands to close that park completely.

Armenia also requests the court to oblige Azerbaijan to refrain from destructing, changing the Armenian cultural values in Artsakh, as well as to present proofs about the crimes committed in the territory.

These are the main demands of Armenia, Kirakosyan said.

Kirakosyan clarified that the talk currently is about the decision of the court, not the judgment as the case is just starting. In any case, the court’s decision will be legally binding, and if the court approves Armenia’s request, Azerbaijan will be obliged to implement all the demands.

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