Ukraine

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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 media is praising President Putin for, chillingly, attempting a ‘solution to the Ukrainian question’. For its part, Russia is vowing to fight ‘till the end’ to ‘de-Nazify’ a multilingual, multi-ethnic Ukraine with its Russian-speaking, Jewish president. This is hardly a moment conducive to unhurried reflection, but nor is there any time to waste in considering possible legal and practical responses. In an extraordinary feat, the Ukrainian government has produced an ICJ application with the dizzying speed of the crashing rouble. As Marko Milanovic notes, though, even if Ukraine succeeds on provisional measures, the chances of Russia complying are vanishingly small. Likewise, while…

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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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Was Russia’s Recognition of the Separatist Republics in Ukraine ‘Manifestly’ Unlawful?

In this post I will not be addressing the legality of Russia’s use of force against Ukraine, but that of its recognition of the separatist republics in Ukraine as independent States. This recognition has been described by numerous other States as not only unlawful, but as a manifest or flagrant breach of international law. For example, the words…

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