Consisting of fifteen judges elected for a nine-year term IGHbased in The Hague in the Netherlands has a dual task, which is, on the one hand, to settle the legal disputes submitted to it in accordance with international law States and, on the other hand, to give advisory opinions on legal questions that may be submitted to it.
In its mandatory order on Thursday, the court, by a vote of thirteen to two, points to the following interim measures:
“The Syrian Arab Republic must take all measures within its power to prevent torture and other acts constituting cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, in accordance with its obligations under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment , to prevent.” and to ensure that none of its representatives or any organization or person which may be under its control, authority or influence commits acts of torture or other acts constituting cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. “
FOR: Ms Donoghue, President; MM. Tomka, Abraham, Bennouna, Yusuf, Ms. Sebutinde, MM. Bhandari, Robinson, Salam, Iwasawa, Nolte, Ms. Charlesworth, Mr. Brant, judge; AGAINST: Mr. Gevorgian, Vice President; Ms. Xue, judge;
Furthermore, the ICJ affirms by thirteen votes to two that “the Syrian Arab Republic must take effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of all elements of evidence relating to the allegations of acts falling within the scope of the Convention.” Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
FOR: Ms Donoghue, President; MM. Tomka, Abraham, Bennouna, Yusuf, Ms. Sebutinde, MM. Bhandari, Robinson, Salam, Iwasawa, Nolte, Ms. Charlesworth, Mr. Brant, judge; AGAINST: Mr. Gevorgian, Vice President; Ms. Xue, judge.
Application submitted by Canada and the Netherlands
The International Court of Justice issued its order after Canada and the Netherlands filed a joint application in June to open proceedings against Syria over alleged violations of the Convention Against Torture.
In their petition, Canada and the Netherlands claim that “Syria has committed countless violations of international law, beginning at least in 2011 with the violent suppression of civil protests and continuing as the situation in the country degenerated into a protracted armed conflict.” They argue that “these violations include the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
At the same time as the request, Canada and the Netherlands submitted a request for provisional measures to “preserve and protect their rights under the Convention against Torture, which Syria continues to violate, and to protect life and physical condition.” “The mental integrity of people in Syria who are currently subjected to, or at risk of being subjected to, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
A “historical” order
The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Syria welcomed the “historic order” issued by the International Court of Justice on Thursday.
“This is a historic decision by the highest court in the world to put an end to torture, disappearances and deaths in Syrian detention centers,” said the president of the investigative commission, Paulo Pinheiro. “Such violations have been a hallmark of the Syrian conflict for twelve years – and one of its main causes.”
“Millions of Syrians are still looking for their missing relatives,” said Hanny Megally, a member of the investigative commission. “The interim measures adopted today are in line with the recommendations our Commission has put forward for over a decade. It is high time the government took these measures. Inmates, survivors and their families deserve nothing less.”
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