Saturday, May 13, 2017

Preemptive strike at The Hague?

This report notes that Pakistan has seemingly conducted a preemptive strike that could affect the case of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav by modifying its accession to the International Court of Justice's compulsory jurisdiction so as to exclude matters relating to national security. Here is Pakistan's communiqué to the UN (highlighting added):
29 March 2017

I have the honor, by direction of the President of the lslamic Republic of Pakistan to declare that [the] Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan recognizes as compulsory ipso facto and without special agreement in relation to any other State accepting the same obligation, the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice under the Statute of the International Court of Justice.

Provided that this Declaration shall not apply to:

a) disputes the resolution of which the parties shall entrust to other tribunals by virtue of agreements already in existence or which may be concluded in the future; or

b) disputes relating to questions which fall essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan;

c) disputes relating to or connected with any aspect of hostilities, armed conflicts, individual or collective self-defence or the discharge of any functions pursuant to any decision or recommendation of international bodies, the deployment of armed forces abroad, as well as action relating and ancillary thereto in which Pakistan is, has been or may in future be involved;

d) disputes with regard to which any other party to a dispute has accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice exclusively for or in relation to the purposes of such dispute; or where the acceptance of the Court's compulsory jurisdiction on behalf of a party to the dispute as deposited or ratified less than 12 months prior to the filing of the application bringing the dispute before the Court;

e) all matters related to the national security of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan;

f) disputes arising under a multilateral treaty or any other international obligation that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan bas specifically undertaken unless:

i) all the parties to the treaty affected by the decision are also parties to the case before the Court, or

ii) the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan specifically agrees to jurisdiction, and

iii) the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is also a Party to the treaty.

g) any dispute about the delimitation of maritime zones, including the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone, the continental shelf, the exclusive fishery zone and other zones of national maritime jurisdiction or the exploitation of any disputed area adjacent to any such maritime zone;

h) disputes with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan pertaining to the determination of its territory or the modification or delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries;

i) all disputes prior to this Declaration although they are filed before this Court hereafter. [The] Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan reserves the right at any time, by means of a written notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and with effect from the moment of such notification, either to amend or terminate this Declaration.

This Declaration revokes and substitutes the previous Declaration made on 12 September 1960.

(Signed) Dr. Maleeha Lodhi
Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the United Nations.

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