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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 Ukrainian regions as states and implementing what it called a ‘special military operation’ against Ukraine. Ukraine bases the Court’s jurisdiction on the comprommissory clause of the Genocide Convention. In this way, Ukraine is attempting to have aspects of Russia’s aggression brought to the jurisdiction of the Court in so far they relate to the Genocide Convention. The invocation of jurisdiction of international courts and tribunals based on compromissory clauses has increased in recent years and led to unexpected litigation coupled with a concomitant decline in their inclusion in treaties (on these points see Fontanelli here and in this blog). Against the background of and I want to briefly touch upon how the Russian invasion of…

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Russian Assets, Accountability for Ukraine, and a Plea for Short-Term Thinking

The viciousness of the Russian armed attack on Ukraine means that avenues for accountability are at a premium. Ukraine’s major cities, including Kyiv, Kharkiv and Chernihiv, had been withstanding a days-long barrage of indiscriminate shelling and missile strikes. War crimes have evidently been committed while Russian state…

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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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Aggression against Ukraine: Avenues for Accountability for Core Crimes

The unprovoked attack by Russia against Ukraine should be qualified as a crime against peace, or the crime of aggression, as defined in Article 6(a) of the IMT Charter and in Article 8bis of the ICC Statute. There are also allegations of war crimes as the Russian armed forces have targeted…

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Open Letter to my Russian Friends: Ukraine is Not Crimea

In reaction to the incorporation of Crimea into the Russian Federation, I had written that the use of Russian armed force against Ukraine is contrary to one of the most fundamental principles of contemporary international law and can be qualified as an “aggression” (Le Monde, 14 March 2014). This applies all the more to the use of armed…

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