Atrocities in Ukraine: crimes, accountability and the way forward

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Abstract

A shocked international community has looked on in shock as Russian forces invaded Ukraine, resulting in a bloody ongoing conflict. Despite nations coming together to announce in a clear and almost unanimous voice that it was entirely unacceptable under the law of nations, little progress has been made in either ending the violence or bringing those responsible to justice. The conflict has since raged on, with widespread and well-documented instances of ongoing international crimes being committed by both sides. While there has been clear and consistent messaging from Ukraine, its allies and the UN that something needs to be done to ensure accountability, the avenues for achieving it are not clear. As a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, the Russian Federation sits in a rare position of power within international law, one which allows it to remain isolated from existing systems of international criminal accountability. To overcome this, change is needed in the approach to international criminal prosecution, certainly in relation to the specific situation in Ukraine, but also more generally to ensure a future in which the international community is governed equitably under the rule of law.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalCoventry Law Journal
Volume27
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2023

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Keywords

  • international law
  • Ukraine
  • Aggression
  • Russia
  • war crimes trials
  • ICC
  • international criminal law
  • International Criminal Court
  • Genocide
  • Crimes Against Humanity

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