Kingdom of Bahrain participates in ICJ hearings concerning four state’s appeal relating to jurisdiction of ICAO
The International Court of Justice held today the first hearing session to discuss the arguments presented by representatives from the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates in the cases concerning the Appeal Relating to the Jurisdiction of the International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO Council under Article 84 of the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation and the Appeal Relating to the Jurisdiction of the ICAO Council under Article II, Section 2, of the 1944 International Air Services Transit Agreement, presented Bahrain, Egypt and United Arab Emirates.
The ICJ hearings on the two appeals began with a speech delivered by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United Kingdom and its Agent to the ICJ, Shaikh Fawaz Bin Mohamed Al-Khalifa, in which he reiterated that the decisions of the ICAO Council did not concern the substance of the dispute, as the real issue is not about civil aviation, as the real dispute arises directly from the sustained regional efforts to restrain Qatar’s support for terrorism and other forms of extremism, particularly through the Riyadh Agreements, and Qatar’s non-compliance with foundational objectives of the Gulf Cooperation Council and international obligations, all of which compelled Bahrain and the quartet states in taking the measures they did on 5 June 2017, to preserve their national security.
The Ambassador also stressed in his speech that these necessary measures, which included breaking-off diplomatic relations with Qatar, and imposing the airspace restrictions, were implemented with the hope that Qatar would then bring its conduct into compliance with its obligations. The Ambassador further added that these procedures reflected Bahrain’s vital concerns about the safety and security of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and other States in the region.
The Ambassador affirmed the Kingdom of Bahrain’s commitment to international law and to the peaceful resolution of international disputes, stressing that The Kingdom has full confidence in the ICJ, which it has already resorted to in the past, and will not be reluctant to file appeals before the Court again in this case.
The hearings which started today, Monday the 2nd of December 2019, at the Peace Palace in The Hague, The Netherlands, will last until Friday 6 December 2019, with two rounds of oral pleadings in a case of two appeals from decisions of the ICAO Council under two international treaties, concerning the airspace restrictions imposed by the Quartet in June 2017, in which the Quartet States are the appellants, concerns an issue of jurisdiction. The question is whether Qatar may bring to a technical organization concerned with civil aviation (the International Civil Aviation Organization, or ICAO), a dispute that concerns vital matters of national security and stability, relating to Qatar’s non-compliance with its international obligations under the Riyadh Agreements, and other international obligations.
With full respect for ICAO and the ICAO Council, and their continuing commitment to ensuring the safety of air navigation within the framework of ICAO, the Four States expressed their disagreement to the decisions of the ICAO Council in June 2018 and have asked the ICJ to set them aside. The final decision on these matters will be made by the ICJ. Pending the ICJ’s decision, the ICAO proceedings are suspended while the ICJ is hearing the appeals.