International Criminal Court

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Ecocide: an Ambiguous Crime?

One year ago, a panel of legal experts convened by the Stop Ecocide International Foundation (Expert Panel) proposed that the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) be amended to expand the ICC’s jurisdiction to include ecocide. To effect this change, the Expert Panel drew up the following definition of the crime of ecocide: ‘unlawful or wanton acts committed with knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe and either widespread or long-term damage to the environment being caused by those acts.’ According to this definition, conduct must meet two thresholds to qualify as ecocide. First, the conduct must be committed with knowledge of a substantial likelihood of serious damage. Second, it must either be unlawful in domestic or international law or wanton, meaning that it must committed ‘with reckless disregard for damage which would be clearly excessive in relation to the social and economic benefits anticipated.’ In this post, I intend to show that the drafting of this definition, which intimately connects ecocide to aspects of both International…

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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…

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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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