International Court of Justice (ICJ) can hear Iran’s case against US sanctions

We are here yet with another update on a previously published news dated 26 July 2018 while you can revisit the article for a brief background at: http://intllaw.net/iran-to-file-a-lawsuit-before-international-court-of-justice/

Based on ICJ judgement dated 03 February 2021, we have to say that felicitation is in place for Iran’s legal team since ICJ is to hear Iran’s case against US sanctions finding that it has the jurisdiction — of the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights of 1955 (the Treaty) — to entertain the application filed by Iran on 16 July 2018 and that the said application is admissible.

Such ruling was issued following US preliminary objections to ICJ jurisdiction on the basis of ratione materiae to entertain the case according to Article XXI, paragraph 2 of the Treaty contesting that the subject matter of the dispute falls outside the scope of the Treaty and on the basis of “third country measures” contending that, even if the actual subject-matter of the dispute were the application of the Treaty, ICJ would still lack jurisdiction to entertain the vast majority of Iran’s claims, as those claims relate to measures which principally concern trade or transactions between Iran and third countries, or between their nationals and companies. US lawyers also contested the admissibility of Iran’s application by reason of an alleged abuse of process and on grounds of judicial propriety.

The decision in favor of the jurisdiction of ICJ was made unanimously by the panel of 16 judges while the other preliminary objections were also dismissed by 15 to 1 majority of the panel.

Although a final decision is likely to take several months or even years, but it is still a small victory for the Iranian legal team to warm their hearts and prepare for future encounter now that the judges are to enter the merits of the case.

Coordinated by Dr. Mahnaz Mehrinfar and Sahar Sotoodehnia