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Preventing Genocide and the Ukraine/Russia case

Ukraine’s recent application against Russia at the International Court of Justice raises the question of the permissibility of the use of force outside the exceptions in the Charter of the United Nations for the purpose of preventing genocide. When the application is read together with the statements made by Ukraine’s lawyers during the provisional measures hearing of 7 March 2022, it seems clear that there are two facets of the dispute between the two States. The first is factual: do acts perpetrated by Ukraine amount to the crime of genocide, as Russia seems to have alleged? Ukraine contends that the charges are frivolous. The second is legal: does the Genocide Convention authorise Russia to use force in order to prevent genocide outside its territory? The application itself is somewhat unclear. Paragraph 27 of the application states: ‘The duty to prevent and punish genocide enshrined in Article I of the Convention necessarily implies that this duty must be performed in good faith and not abused, and that…

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Complex Disputes and Narrow Compromissory Clauses: Ukraine’s Institution of Proceedings against Russia

On February 26 2022 Ukraine filed an Application and a Request for Provisional Measures before the ICJ against Russia. The hearings on the application for Provisional Measures begins today. In its application, Ukraine argues that Russia falsely accused it of committing genocide in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts of Ukraine, which led Russia to recognizing these…

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Russia’s “genocide disinformation” and war propaganda are breaches of the International Convention Concerning the Use of Broadcasting in the Cause of Peace and fall within the ICJ’s jurisdiction

Notice of correction by the author, as reviewed by the editors: Russia has made a reservation to Article 7 of the International Convention Concerning the Use of Broadcasting in the Cause of Peace (the compromissory clause granting the PCIJ jurisdiction over the interpretation and interpretation of the Convention) upon ratifying the Convention. The reservation reads as follows:…

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Putin’s War against Ukraine: Mocking International Law

Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an obvious violation of international law. Neither self-defense nor the entirely baseless accusation of a purported “genocide” in Eastern Ukraine serves as a sufficient legal basis and any Ukrainian concessions would be legally invalid. Russia has created a new and utterly sad textbook example of a violation of the prohibition of war –…

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Ukraine Files ICJ Claim against Russia

Earlier today President Zelenskyy announced that Ukraine has filed an application against Russia before the International Court of Justice: Ukraine has submitted its application against Russia to the ICJ. Russia must be held accountable for manipulating the notion of genocide to justify aggression. We request an urgent decision ordering Russia to cease…

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