On Monday, Qatar began a week of pleadings in The Hague, claiming that the United Arab Emirates has violated the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
A week of hearings at the UN’s International Court of Justice in the Hague began on Monday, with Qatar accusing the UAE of several discriminatory actions following as a result of the ongoing blockade imposed by the Emirates together with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt.
Qatar’s pleas this week come more than a year after the UAE claimed it had not violated any international obligations by participating in the blockade, which began in 2017, and that the court had no jurisdiction in the case.
During the week’s sessions, Qatar will be represented before the court by Dr. Mohamed bin Abdulaziz al-Khulaifi, who is head of the nation’s legal team on this case and Dean of the College of Law at Qatar University.
“No legitimate justification” for blockade
The lawsuit was initially filed by the State of Qatar in June 2018, a year after the UAE — the three other nations — cut diplomatic ties with the country and imposed an illegal land, air, and sea blockade, citing terrorism as the main reason. Qatar has consistently denied such allegations and said there was “no legitimate justification” for the severance of relations or the use of collective punishment through embargo..
To protect its citizens from discriminatory acts imposed by the UAE, Qatar also asked the court to agree several temporary measures to guarantee reunification for Qatari-Emirati families, the right to education, and access to courts.
However, in March 2019, the UAE submitted an urgent request for interim measures to preserve its “procedural rights” until the court issued its final decision on the case. The request was eventually rejected by the court.