Ukraine

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When did the Armed Attack against Ukraine become ‘Imminent’?

When did Russia’s armed attack on Ukraine begin? And, before it began, when did it become imminent, as that term is commonly understood in the international law on the use of force? In this post I will offer some thoughts on these two questions, not because they are directly relevant to the situation in Ukraine – they are not, because Ukraine’s defensive actions against Russia were not pre-emptive – but because, I submit, Ukraine as a case study can teach us some useful lessons on the workability of the notion of imminence. And that notion may be central in evaluating future conflicts, some of which may be at least as dangerous as Russia’s assault on Ukraine. If, say, the United States or Israel ever choose to intervene militarily against Iran or North Korea, the justification they would offer would almost certainly revolve around a necessity to stop an imminent armed attack. Some background Whether Article 51 of the UN Charter permits recourse to self-defence against armed attacks that are yet to occur…

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Violations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Committed in Ukraine since 24 February 2022: Summary of the Report by a Mission of Experts under the OSCE Moscow Mechanism

On 13 April 2022, we presented the report of our mission on Ukraine to a special session of the Permanent Council of OSCE. Based on this presentation, the following contribution summarizes the establishment and mandate, methodology and findings of our 94 pages Report. Establishment and mandate On 3 March 2022, Ukraine,…

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Legal Justification for FIFA and UEFA’s Ban on Russian National Football and Club Teams

Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has invited global censure. States have resorted to sanctions against Russian institutions and individuals. Response by non-state actors includes MNCs suspending their operations, boycotts, condemnations, cancellation of cultural events and banning of Russian athletes and teams from participating in international sports. On 28 February 2022, FIFA…

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Europe’s Kairos? The Role of the Council of Europe under a Negotiated Peace in Ukraine

In a seminal speech to the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe in 1954, Germany’s Federal Chancellor and Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, Konrad Adenauer, exhorted member states to respond to matters of common concern with courage and confidence, and insisted that ‘any weakening in our zeal, in our striving to fulfil what we have…

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On Eastern Europe, ‘Whataboutism’ and ‘West(s)plaining’: Some Thoughts on International Lawyers’ Responses to Ukraine

The invasion of Ukraine has spawned a flurry of commentary from international lawyers. Much of it has focused on traditional doctrinal disputes, such as the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction in Ukraine or interpretation of international humanitarian law. But there have also been voices that situate the Ukraine war and international legal responses thereto in a wider context, including…

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