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Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates)

Overview of the case

On 11 June 2018, Qatar instituted proceedings against the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) with regard to alleged violations of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of 21 December 1965 (“CERD” or “Convention”).

In its Application, Qatar asserted, inter alia, that on 5 June 2017 the UAE had enacted and implemented a series of discriminatory measures directed against Qataris on the basis of their national origin. The Application was accompanied by a Request for the indication of provisional measures to protect Qatar’s rights under CERD pending a decision on the merits.

To found the jurisdiction of the Court, Qatar invoked Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the Court and Article 22 of CERD.

The Court held public hearings on Qatar’s Request for the indication of provisional measures in June 2018. In an Order of 23 July 2018, the Court concluded that, prima facie, it had jurisdiction pursuant to Article 22 of CERD to deal with the case to the extent that the dispute between the Parties related to the “interpretation or application” of that Convention, and that the conditions required by its Statute for it to indicate provisional measures were met. At the end of its Order, the Court directed the UAE to

“ensure that (i) families that include a Qatari, separated by the measures adopted by the United Arab Emirates on 5 June 2017, are reunited; (ii) Qatari students affected by the measures adopted by the United Arab Emirates on 5 June 2017 are given the opportunity to complete their education in the United Arab Emirates or to obtain their educational records if they wish to continue their studies elsewhere; and (iii) Qataris affected by the measures adopted by the United Arab Emirates on 5 June 2017 are allowed access to tribunals and other judicial organs of the United Arab Emirates”.

The Court also ordered both Parties to refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the Court or make it more difficult to resolve.

On 22 March 2019, the UAE filed in the Registry of the Court a Request for the indication of provisional measures in order “(i) to preserve its procedural rights in th[e] case; and (ii) prevent Qatar from further aggravating or extending the dispute between the parties pending a final decision in th[e] case”. After holding public hearings on this Request in May 2019, the Court delivered an Order on 14 June 2019, in which it rejected the Request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by the UAE.

On 30 April 2019, the UAE raised preliminary objections to the jurisdiction of the Court and the admissibility of the Application. In accordance with the Rules of Court, the proceedings on the merits of the case were then suspended. After holding public hearings in August and September 2020, the Court delivered its Judgment on the preliminary objections raised by the UAE on 4 February 2021. In its Judgment, the Court upheld the first preliminary objection that the dispute fell outside of the scope ratione materiae of CERD, and found that it did not have jurisdiction to entertain the Application filed by Qatar on 11 June 2018.


This overview is provided for information only and in no way involves the responsibility of the Court.

Institution of proceedings

Written proceedings

Request for the indication of provisional measures of Qatar

11 June 2018
Procedure(s): Provisional measures
Available in:
English French

Request for the indication of provisional measures of the United Arab Emirates

22 March 2019
Procedure(s): Provisional measures
Available in:
English

Memorial of Qatar - Volume I

25 April 2019
Available in:
English
After ascertaining the views of the Parties, the Court decided, pursuant to Article 53, paragraph 2, of its Rules, that copies of the pleadings and the documents annexed would be made accessible to the public on the opening of the oral proceedings, with the exception of Annexes 163, 165-243, 247-263, 265-271 and Exhibit B of Annex 272 of Qatar’s Memorial, and Exhibit A of Annex 272-A of Qatar’s Written Statement on the Preliminary Objections of the United Arab Emirates.

Written statement of Qatar

30 August 2019
Procedure(s): Preliminary objections
Available in:
English
After ascertaining the views of the Parties, the Court decided, pursuant to Article 53, paragraph 2, of its Rules, that copies of the pleadings and the documents annexed would be made accessible to the public on the opening of the oral proceedings, with the exception of Annexes 163, 165-243, 247-263, 265-271 and Exhibit B of Annex 272 of Qatar’s Memorial, and Exhibit A of Annex 272-A of Qatar’s Written Statement on the Preliminary Objections of the United Arab Emirates.

Oral proceedings

Verbatim record 2018/12

Public sitting held on Wednesday 27 June 2018, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Yusuf presiding, in the case concerning Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates)
Procedure(s): Provisional measures
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2018/13

Public sitting held on Thursday 28 June 2018, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Yusuf presiding, in the case concerning Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates)
Procedure(s): Provisional measures
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2018/14

Public sitting held on Friday 29 June 2018, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Yusuf presiding, in the case concerning Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates)
Procedure(s): Provisional measures
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2018/15

Public sitting held on Friday 29 June 2018, at 4.30 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Yusuf presiding, in the case concerning Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates)
Procedure(s): Provisional measures
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Verbatim record 2019/5

Public sitting held on Tuesday 7 May 2019, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Yusuf presiding, in the case concerning Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates)
Procedure(s): Provisional measures
Available in:
Original Language

Verbatim record 2019/6

Public sitting held on Wednesday 8 May 2019, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Yusuf presiding, in the case concerning Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates)
Procedure(s): Provisional measures
Available in:
Original Language

Verbatim record 2019/7

Public sitting held on Thursday 9 May 2019, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Yusuf presiding, in the case concerning Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates)
Procedure(s): Provisional measures
Available in:
Original Language

Verbatim record 2019/8

Public sitting held on Thursday 9 May 2019, at 4.30 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Yusuf presiding, in the case concerning Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates)
Procedure(s): Provisional measures
Available in:
Original Language

Verbatim record 2020/6

Public sitting held on Monday 31 August 2020, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Yusuf presiding, in the case concerning Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates)
Procedure(s): Preliminary objections
Available in:
Original Language

Verbatim record 2020/7

Public sitting held on Wednesday 2 September 2020, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Yusuf presiding, in the case concerning Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates)
Procedure(s): Preliminary objections
Available in:
Original Language

Verbatim record 2020/8

Public sitting held on Friday 4 September 2020, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Yusuf presiding, in the case concerning Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates)
Procedure(s): Preliminary objections
Available in:
Original Language

Verbatim record 2020/9

Public sitting held on Monday 7 September 2020, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Yusuf presiding, in the case concerning Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates)
Procedure(s): Preliminary objections
Available in:
Original Language

Orders

Order of 25 July 2018

Fixing of time-limits: Memorial and Counter-Memorial
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 2 May 2019

Fixing of time-limit: Written statement of observations and submissions on preliminary objections
Procedure(s): Provisional measures
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Judgments

Summaries of Judgments and Orders

Summary 2018/4

Summary of the Order of 23 July 2018
Available in:
English French

Summary 2019/3

Summary of the Order of 14 June 2019
Available in:
English French

Summary 2021/2

Summary of the Judgment of 4 February 2021
Available in:
English French

Press releases

Press release 2018/26

11 June 2018
The State of Qatar institutes proceedings against the United Arab Emirates and requests the Court to indicate provisional measures
Available in:
English French

Press release 2018/27

15 June 2018
Proceedings instituted by the State of Qatar against the United Arab Emirates - Request for the indication of provisional measures - The Court to hold public hearings from Wednesday 27 to Friday 29 June 2018
Available in:
English French

Press release 2018/30

29 June 2018
Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates) - Conclusion of the public hearings on the request for the indication of provisional measures raised by Qatar - The Court to begin its deliberation
Available in:
English French

Press release 2018/35

17 July 2018
Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates) - Request for the indication of provisional measures - The Court to deliver its Order on Monday 23 July 2018
Available in:
English French

Press release 2018/36

23 July 2018
Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates) - The Court indicates provisional measures to protect certain rights claimed by Qatar and orders the Parties to refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute
Available in:
English French

Press release 2018/40

1 August 2018
Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates) - Fixing of time-limits for the filing of the initial pleadings
Available in:
English French

Press release 2019/12

25 March 2019
Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates) - The United Arab Emirates requests the Court to indicate provisional measures
Available in:
English French

Press release 2019/15

2 April 2019
Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates) - Request for the indication of provisional measures - The Court to hold public hearings from Tuesday 7 to Thursday 9 May 2019
Available in:
English French

Press release 2019/19

9 May 2019
Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates) - Conclusion of the public hearings on the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by the United Arab Emirates - The Court to begin its deliberation
Available in:
English French

Press release 2019/20

10 May 2019
Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates) - Fixing of time-limit for the filing by Qatar of a written statement of its observations and submissions on the preliminary objections raised by the United Arab Emirates
Available in:
English French

Press release 2019/24

7 June 2019
Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates) - Request for the indication of provisional measures - The Court to deliver its Order on Friday 14 June 2019 at 3 p.m.
Available in:
English French

Press release 2019/26

14 June 2019
Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates) - The Court rejects the Request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by the United Arab Emirates
Available in:
English French

Press release 2020/23

30 July 2020
Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates) - Preliminary Objections - The Court to hold public hearings from Monday 31 August to Monday 7 September 2020
Available in:
English French

Press release 2020/25

25 August 2020
Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates) - Preliminary objections - Schedule for the public hearings to be held from Monday 31 August to Monday 7 September 2020
Available in:
English French

Press release 2020/27

8 September 2020
Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates) - Conclusion of the public hearings on the preliminary objections raised by the United Arab Emirates - The Court to begin its deliberation
Available in:
English French

Press release 2021/4

2 February 2021
Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates) - Preliminary objections - The Court to deliver its Judgment on Thursday 4 February 2021 at 3 p.m.
Available in:
English French

Press release 2021/6

4 February 2021
Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates) - The Court finds that it has no jurisdiction to entertain the Application filed by Qatar on 11 June 2018
Available in:
English French

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