The UBA urges for the immediate creation of a Special International Tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine

2022-10-06

Armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine has been ongoing since February 2014. More than 7 months have passed since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. The war of aggression waged by the Russian Federation against Ukraine is the largest and most brutal on the European continent since World War II and is taking place on many fronts. Daily war crimes, crimes against humanity, and presumable genocide are supplemented by economic blockade, nuclear blackmail, cyber-attacks, and propaganda.

All these categories of crimes are subject to investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC), national and universal jurisdictions. At the same time, none of the mechanisms of international law and none of the existing international judicial institutions – neither the ICC, nor the International Court of Justice or the European Court of Human Rights – have jurisdiction over the investigation and prosecution of the crime of aggression against Ukraine aimed at ensuring criminal liability of the highest military and political leadership of the Russian Federation.

Therefore, the creation of a separate institution – the Special International Tribunal – with the mandate for criminal prosecution for the crime of aggression against Ukraine, is an urgent necessity.

The President of Ukraine, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and other representatives of Ukrainian authorities at the highest level have repeatedly urged the world to support Ukraine in establishing the Special Tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine. Political support with appropriate recommendations for the establishment of the Special Tribunal has already been granted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

The creation of the Special Tribunal is also a demand of the Ukrainian and international legal communities aimed at restoring the rule of law, human rights, and democratic governance in Ukraine.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the UBA has repeatedly – by means of letters to governments, petitions, and public statements – appealed to the international community for their support of the creation of a Special Tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine.

At the same time, the recent decisions of the Russian Federation regarding the attempted annexation of four regions of Ukraine made the issue of establishing a tribunal urgent.

Given the above, the UBA, as an organization whose goal is to strengthen the rule of law and enhance the protection of human rights in Ukraine, continues to strongly condemn the aggression of the Russian Federation and:

  • Urges governments of world countries and the international legal community to publicly support the creation of the Special International Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine as soon as possible and to cooperate in this regard.
  • Proposes to limit the jurisdiction of the Special Tribunal exclusively to the crime of aggression against Ukraine, so that the work of the Special Tribunal does not duplicate but complements the jurisdiction of the ICC and other international judicial institutions.
  • Proposes to enable the Special Tribunal to consider events starting at least from 2014 with no limit on the timeline as the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine continues.
  • Invites the international community to agree, as a result of a dialogue with Ukrainian authorities and expert environment, on a platform (UN, EU, EC, or a treaty between states), which will become the basis for the creation of the Special Tribunal, with the possibility for individual states to join.
  • Emphasizes that the legal principles of inevitability of punishment and prevention of impunity mean that no diplomatic negotiations can impede the creation of the Special Tribunal and prosecution of persons guilty of the crime of aggression against Ukraine.
  • Assures the authorities of Ukraine of the readiness of the Ukrainian legal community to support the creation of the Special Tribunal and launching its operation.

The full text of the statement is available by the link.

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