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If Ukraine’s Fate Is not a Menu à La Carte, then Ukrainian Voices Must Be Heard

Russian President Putin’s announcement of the “special military operation” against my native Ukraine coincided with my reading of Soviet Judgment at Nuremberg by Francine Hirsch. And while some are still wondering how Russia is so blatantly abusing the legal regime prohibiting the use of force, which the Soviet Union helped establish, Ukrainians have hardly been caught by surprise. In fact, we have been living in the real-life setting of yet another great book - The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig - for years. While some are still largely refusing to believe that we are in a contemporary 1938 moment - and are fast approaching 1939, - Ukraine has been living in the reality of a Russia-generated armed conflict - and adapting to and acting upon its consequences - since 2014.

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The Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty for Core Crimes: Filling the Gap?

Since 2011, work has been underway in the Mutual Legal Assistance Initiative (MLAI) to create a modern, procedural, multilateral treaty on mutual legal assistance and extradition, which better facilitates cooperation between states in the prosecution of international crimes. However, recent drafts of the Convention on International Cooperation in the Investigation and Prosecution of the Crime of…

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Ukrainian Prosecution of ICC Statute Crimes: Fair, Independent and Impartial?

In view of the widespread euphoria about Ukraine’s admirable defensive struggle against the Russian war of aggression, it is easy to forget that until a few months ago Ukraine was still considered a problematic case in terms of the rule of law. Not only was the fight against corruption promised by President Zelenskyy considered insufficient, but classic deficits…

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Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Women in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

In April 2022, it was reported that Ukrainian law enforcement intercepted a phone call between a Russian soldier and his wife. In the phone call, they joked about the soldier raping Ukrainian women. His wife told him, “Yes, I allow it. Just wear protection”. The shockingly cavalier attitude of these two young Russian people towards rape emanates…

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The rocky road to peace II: additional challenges at the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in Colombia

The transitional justice process in Colombia and the institution at its centre, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), have faced a series of difficulties (see here and here). Aware of this, the Prosecutor of the ICC announced on 28 October 2021 the closure of the country’s preliminary examination. This decision was partly motivated by the JEP’s progress…

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