Ukraine

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After Hegemony: The Law on the Use of Force and the Ukraine Crisis

Most questions on the law on the use of force surrounding the Russian invasion in Ukraine are straightforward. There is simply no plausible legal justification for the invasion, and Putin’s attempt at creating one through recognizing the ‘people’s republics’ of Donetsk and Luhansk and then claiming collective self-defence and the need to protect them from Ukrainian ‘genocide’ is obviously baseless. Others have discussed it in more detail, including on this blog (here and here), and it is not necessary to rehearse the argument here. The case is then one of a great power openly flouting international law, which is shocking for anyone growing up with the idea that Article 2(4) of the UN Charter is a cornerstone of the international order. Historically, however, such a situation is not so surprising – great powers have long sought to evade legal restrictions on their ability to use military force as a political tool. I have tried to capture that in an EJIL piece some time ago. And so perhaps…

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Will a state supplying weapons to Ukraine become a party to the conflict and thus be exposed to countermeasures?

According to the time-honoured law of neutrality, the territory of neutral powers is “inviolable” (Art. 1 Hague “Convention (V) respecting the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers and Persons in Case of War on Land, October 18, 1907). Parties to a conflict may therefore not use it in any conflict-related manner, e.g. to transport war material (…

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Could Russia be Suspended from the United Nations?

The General Assembly is currently meeting in Emergency Special Session on Ukraine, and will likely pass a resolution condemning Russia’s aggression, demanding the withdrawal of troops, and urging a peaceful resolution to the crisis. Such a resolution will be an important step, but also begs the question: if these appeals for peace are not heeded, what could be…

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Belarus is Complicit in Russia’s War of Aggression

In the early hours of the 24th of February, Russia launched a large-scale attack against Ukraine. By the following day, Russian forces were closing in on Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. A large part of these forces penetrated the Ukrainian territory not through the separatist regions in the east or Crimea in the south, but through the north, coming…

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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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