37149 - Strategic notes & comments re: a generalized reference at the International Court of Justice in The Hague

N. Lygeros
Translated from the Greek by Athina Kehagias

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Any reference to the International Court of Justice in The Hague ought to always occur in a cautious manner, in order to avoid misinterpretations of the judgments. Skopje, just as any other country, has a right to appeal to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, and nobody is going to prevent them from doing so. The fact that they recourse to it on the 17th of November 2008 for non-implementation by Greece of the Interim Agreement signed on the 13th of September 1995 was quite correct, the same is applicable regarding the judgment of the International Court of Justice in The Hague taken back on the 5th of December 2011. The Court which was competent re: the issue, indicated that Greece didn’t in actual fact implement paragraph 1 of Article 11 of the agreement, which was to be expected, since Skopje was a candidate for NATO membership with the name FYROM, which is what the United Nations allows for usage ever since 1993 [Ref.1] However, it rejected all other claims by Skopje: Rejects all other submissions made by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. ” [Report 2 ] That’s as far as the sacrifice is concerned. Now, in regards to the therapy sought out by Skopje, it considered that the declaration of the sacrifice was sufficient enough. [Reference 3] All these first of all, have nothing to do with the negotiations. Whether an agreement occurs or not, Skopje again would have the right to appeal as long as they use the name FYROM. However, due to the intermediate agreement, if they attempt to change it, Greece will have the right to block their accession process and be justified by the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
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Report 1: “Upon entry into force of this Interim Accord, the Party of the First Part agrees not to object to the application by or the membership of the Party of the Second Part in international, multilateral and regional organizations and institutions of which the Party of the First Part is a member; however, the Party of the First Part reserves the right to object to any membership referred to above if and to the extent the Party of the Second Part is to be referred to in such organization or institution differently than in paragraph 2 of United Nations Security Council resolution 817 (1993).”

Report 2: By fifteen votes to one,

Rejects all other submissions made by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

IN FAVOUR: President Owada; Vice-President Tomka; Judges Koroma, Simma, Abraham, Keith, Sepúlveda-Amor, Bennouna, Skotnikov, Cançado Trindade, Yusuf, Greenwood, Xue, Donoghue; Judge ad hoc Roucounas;

AGAINST: Judge ad hoc Vukas.

Judge Simma appends a separate opinion to the Judgment of the Court; Judge Bennouna appends a declaration to the Judgment of the Court; Judge Xue appends a dissenting opinion to the Judgment of the Court; Judge ad hoc Roucounas appends a dissenting opinion to the Judgment of the Court; Judge ad hoc Vukas appends a declaration to the Judgment of the Court.

Report 3: V. Remedies

167. The Court recalls that, in its final submissions pertaining to the merits of the present case, the Applicant seeks two remedies which it regarded as constituting appropriate redress for claimed violations of the Interim Accord by the Respondent. First, the Applicant seeks relief in the form of a declaration of the Court that the Respondent has acted illegally, and secondly, it requests relief in the form of an order of the Court that the Respondent henceforth refrain from any action that violates its obligations under Article 11, paragraph 1, of the Interim Accord.

168. As elaborated above, the Court has found a violation by the Respondent of its obligation under Article 11, paragraph 1, of the Interim Accord. As to possible remedies for such a violation, the Court finds that a declaration that the Respondent violated its obligation not to object to the Applicant’s admission to or membership in NATO is warranted. moreover, the Court does not consider it necessary to order the Respondent, as the Applicant requests, to refrain from any future conduct that violates its obligation under Article 11, paragraph 1, of the Interim Accord. As the Court previously explained, “[a]s a general rule, there is no reason to suppose that a State whose act or conduct has been declared wrongful by the Court will repeat that act or conduct in the future, since its good faith must be presumed” (Navigational and Related Rights (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2009, p. 267, para. 150).

169. The Court accordingly determines that its finding that the Respondent has violated its obligation to the Applicant under Article 11, para‐ graph 1, of the Interim Accord, constitutes appropriate satisfaction.