Decision of the International Court of Justice in the case of Ukraine vs Russia

On March 16, 2022, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ordered the Russian Federation to immediately suspend hostilities in Ukraine. This decision is mandatory for immediate implementation by Russia in accordance with international law. Further continuation of the war by Russia will now be not just a violation of international law, but a violation of the order of one of the most authoritative judicial institutions in the world.

 

HOW IT ALL BEGAN?

On February 26, 2022, Ukraine filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice on Russia’s violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Also, Ukraine immediately filed a petition for precautionary measures, in which, in fact, it asks the International Court of Justice to order Russia to stop the war in Ukraine – which has already been decided.

Ukraine in its lawsuit does not claim that Russia committed genocide against the Ukrainian nation in February 2022. There is really no basis for this accusation. However, Ukraine mentions potential genocide planning. It sounds like this: “Ukraine refers to the fabrications of the aggressor state about allegedly carrying out genocide in Donbas by the Ukrainian authorities, refutes them, and at the same time notes: “It looks like Russia is planning acts of genocide in Ukraine.”

 

WHAT DOES THE CLAIM FOCUS ON?

The Government of Ukraine, in its submission to The Hague, focuses on Russia’s flagrant abuse of its obligation to prevent the crime of genocide under the Convention.

Thus, the Convention does provide for the duty of member states to prevent genocide and punish those responsible for it, regardless of where it occurs (the so-called obligation that applies to all). But Russia, referring to the need to comply with these norms (i.e. allegedly “fighting the genocide in Ukraine”), actually resorted to:
1. Recognition of the so-called “LNR” and “DNR”, committed under the pretext of a fictitious “genocide” of the population of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions;
2. Carrying out the so-called “special military operation” against Ukraine with the express purpose of preventing and punishing alleged acts of “genocide” that are not supported by any actual evidence at all.

Ukraine argues that armed aggression against it for the sake of “prevention and punishment” for artificially contrived “genocide” is incompatible with the provisions of the Convention, distorts the duty of states to prevent and punish genocide, and is contrary to the purposes and purposes of the Convention. Russia is abusing its participation in the Convention, turning it into a fabricated basis for an armed attack on Ukraine.

 

WHAT DOES UKRAINE REQUEST?

Ukraine asks the Court to establish the following circumstances:
1. That no crime of “genocide” was committed by Ukraine in the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions;
2. That Russia has no right to take any action against Ukraine to prevent and punish this fictional “genocide”;
3. That Russia’s recognition of the so-called DNR and LNR was based on a fictional genocide and cannot be based on the provisions of the Convention.
4. provide guarantees of non-repetition of illegal actions, including the illegal use of force;
5. Pay reparations for the damage caused as a result of the violation.

WHAT DECISION HAS ALREADY BEEN MADE?

By its order, the International Court of Justice dated March 16, 2022, chose the following precautionary measures for the Russian Federation:
1. Russia must immediately stop the so-called “military operation” on the territory of Ukraine.
2. Russia must ensure that any military or irregular formations under its command, control and support do not take any steps to carry out this “military operation”.
The second point deserves attention: in it, the Court hinted that such formations are artificial LNR and DNR. To do this, the court referred to the statement of Russia’s permanent representative to the UN on military assistance to the so-called “republics”.

Consequently, the Court unequivocally insists that Russia cannot wage war either directly or through its puppets.

WHAT IS RUSSIA’S RESPONSE?

Moscow has already stated that Russia is not going to comply with the first decision of the International Court of Justice on the war in Ukraine.

The representative of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov said that “We cannot take this decision into account. The International Court of Justice has such a thing as “consent of the parties.” There can be no agreement here … In this case, this is something that we cannot take into account.

With this statement, Russia openly violates the order of one of the most authoritative judicial institutions, which is another violation of international law.

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