EJIL: The Podcast! Episode 19 – “From Russia With War: Part Deux”

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In this episode Marko Milanovic, Dapo Akande and Philippa Webb are joined by Oona Hathaway (Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law at Yale Law School) to discuss big legal issues arising from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, one year on.

Some of the issues that they discussed a year ago in Episode 14 remain relevant, but other issues have come into sharper focus. The speakers first discuss the ICC arrest warrant issued on 17 March 2023 for President Putin and the children’s rights commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova. They reflect on the significance of this legal step, its timing, the occupied territory question, and the immunity issues that will arise given Putin’s status as head of state of a non-party State to the ICC Statute. Oona reflects on the changing position of the United States, and different views that co-exist within the Government with respect to the ICC.

Marko then leads a discussion on the international humanitarian law issues arising from the waves of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. The speakers point out the evidentiary challenges and the interaction with cases brought by Ukraine in international courts, including the European Court of Human Rights.

Finally, they consider the reparations due to Ukraine as a consequence of Russia’s accountability for international law violations. Philippa lays out the potential routes to overcoming immunity from enforcement in order to move from freezing to seizing Russian State assets. Dapo examines the pros and cons of the various approaches and Marko poses a thought experiment involving the ICJ.

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