Arab Quartet asks UN Court to appeal ICAO’s Qatar decision

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The International Court of Justice announced that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain filed an appeal against the UN’s global aviation body’s decision over complaints made by Qatar.

According to Asharq Al-Awsat, a pan-Arab newspaper, the applicants invoked Article 84 of the Chicago Convention, read in conjunction with Articles 36 (1) and 37 of the Statute of the Court.

The International Civil Aviation Organization ruled last week that it had the jurisdiction to determine a dispute brought by Qatar on the free passage of passenger planes.

The four countries want the ICJ to reverse the ruling, and have said its decision was a “violation of fundamental principles of due process and the right to be heard.”

Their appeal stated that in 2013 and 2014, following years of diplomatic activities, Gulf Cooperation Council member states adopted a series of undertakings under which Qatar “committed to cease supporting, financing or harboring persons or groups presenting a danger to national security, in particular terrorist groups.”

However, when Qatar did not abide by its commitments, the four countries implemented a range of counter-measures to “[induce] compliance by Qatar.”

The measures included airspace restrictions to aircrafts registered in Qatar. However, these measures, which were submitted to ICAO, were considered to be a violation of international agreements.

However, the four countries said ICAO’s decision on June 29 came “immediately following the close of oral submissions, and without asking any questions or undertaking any deliberations.”