UN court rejects Georgia case against Russia

International Court of Justice says it cannot rule on dispute over alleged atrocities in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The International Court of Justice has said it cannot hear a complaint by Georgia that Russia committed human rights abuses in two breakaway provinces, saying it had no jurisdiction over the case.

The court in The Hague, the Netherlands, said despite the claims and counter-claims by Russia and Georgia, there was no evidence that the two parties had held negotiations to try and resolve the complaint.

“The court, by 10 votes to six, finds that it has no jurisdiction to entertain the application,” Hisashi Owada, president of the UN court, told the hearing on Friday.

Georgia filed a complaint with the court in 2008 towards the end of a five-day war with Russia, accusing its forces of murdering thousands of ethnic Georgians and displacing hundreds of thousands of people in South Ossetia and Abkhazia for nearly two decades.

The former Soviet republic accused Russia of “serious violations” of a 1965 anti-discrimination treaty during three interventions in the regions from 1990 and a “systematic policy” of ethnic discrimination.

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