ICJ Hold Hearings on Provisional Measure Request by Congo Against French

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003
Bruce Zagaris
On April 29, 2003, the International Court of Justice concluded two days of hearings on the request by The Republic of the Congo for the indication of a provisional measure in the case concerning Certain Criminal Proceedings in France. The Republic of the Congo, as the applicant State, confirmed its request for the indication of a provisional measure, which France asked the ICJ to reject. The Republic of the Congo asked the ICJ to indicate a provision measure “seeking an order for the immediate suspension of the proceedings being conducted by the investigating judge of the Meaux tribunal de grand instance.” In particular, the petition of the Republic of the Congo argued that the Meaux tribunal had no territorial jurisdiction and the Congolese officials had immunity. The petition also requests an order from the ICJ informing court and police officials that they had no right to issue letters rotatory in connection with the case especially against the President of the Republic of the Congo. On December 4, 2001, the International Federation of the League of Human Rights, the Congolese Observatory for Human Rights, and the French League for the Defense of Human Rights and the Citizen brought a criminal complaint, alleging torture and other human rights violations committed in the Republic of the Congo Even after the Congolese Government asserted immunity, the judge of instruction tried to issue a letters rotatory.