International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion: time for implementation

“This ruling is a powerful statement that the Barrier as constructed is a violation of international law,” said Nicholas Howen, Secretary-General of the ICJ, welcoming the International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion on Israel’s Separation Barrier.

“Its acute impact on the Palestinian population renders it an unjustified interference into their rights. It is time for Israel to respect international human rights and humanitarian law and to fully implement the decision of the Court.”

“A reading of the Opinion shows that any measure taken in the name of security – even one taken in the fight against terrorist acts – must be conducted as an extension, not as an abrogation of the rule of law”, Howen added.

The Court – principal judicial body of the United Nations – in its almost unanimous Opinion, stressed Israel’s duty to cease the construction of the Barrier on Occupied Territories, to dismantle those parts already built, to restitute land confiscated for its construction to its owners and to compensate those who suffered damages. Israel is also under an obligation to repeal all regulations connected to the Barrier, including its discriminatory movement regime.

The Court recalled that third states are obliged not to recognize the situation resulting from the construction of the Barrier and not to render aid and assistance to maintain the situation created by this Barrier. The General Assembly, the Security Council, and in particular those states directly involved in the Peace Process, including the Quartet, have to work towards the swift and full implementation of the Courts decision.

The ruling is legally significant. It settles any dispute about the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Territories and confirms that international human rights treaties are fully applicable to any territory under the effective control of a State, even outside its borders. The Court places human rights as the centre of its considerations, which also confirms the legal analysis by the International Commission of Jurists (attached).

“The International Commission of Jurists believes, that security and lasting peace are only possible on the ground of international law. It is imperative that all parties fully respect human rights and humanitarian law and base their policies on such law. It should be clear that human rights and humanitarian law cannot be selectively invoked by either party”, noted Nicholas Howen. The ICJ urges the international community – in the words of the Court- to double its efforts for a lasting peace.

Follow this link to a detailed Legal Analysis by the International Commission of Jurists on Israel’s Separation Barrier with regard to international human rights and humanitarian law Part I and II Part III and IV

Follow this link to the comment of the International Commission of Jurists on the decision of the Israeli Supreme Court

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