ICJ to Discuss Provisional Measures Imposed on Azerbaijan

Foreign Brief

By Can Eker
Oct. 14, 2021

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will convene today to review
provisional measures it imposed upon Azerbaijan.

Last month, Armenia filed a complaint to the ICJ regarding
Azerbaijan’s alleged war crimes during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
of 2020, including ethnic cleansing and destruction of cultural
heritage sites. Azerbaijan then responded that it would also submit a
mirror complaint regarding Armenia’s alleged violations.

While the ICJ will acutely take Armenia’s complaints into account to
determine Azerbaijan’s guilt, Azerbaijan’s mirror complaint—although
likely to be approved—in turn, will not be as fruitful due to the lack
of Azeri minorities in Nagorno-Karabakh.  Additionally, the court will
look over the status of Armenian prisoners of war.

As the ICJ will likely find Armenia’s appeal plausible, it could also
acknowledge Armenian political legitimacy in the region. As a result,
the ICJ could press to begin a territorial reorganization of
Nagorno-Karabakh in the medium-term. In this framework, the Christian
heritage sites in the region could be granted special status under
Armenia’s purview. In the case of a negative verdict however, Baku’s
retaliations against Yerevan could increase. With all things
considered, the case will further provoke the rival states, making
reconciliation all but unachievable in the long-term.


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