The International Court of Justice and its jurisdiction explained

At least 532 civilians were killed during the Russian invasion, including 14 children, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry announced on Monday. He said a further 1,684 people, including 116 children, were injured

Civil defense gunmen pose for a photo as they patrol an empty street due to curfew in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. AP

On Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine had filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague against Russia.

Zelensky said Russia must be held accountable for “manipulating the notion of genocide to justify aggression.”

“Ukraine has submitted its petition against Russia to the ICJ. Russia must be held accountable for manipulating the notion of genocide to justify aggression. We demand an urgent decision ordering Russia to cease its military activities now and we expect trials to begin next week,” Zelensky wrote. on Twitter.

In its application to the ICJ, Ukraine “categorically denied” any occurrence of genocide in the country’s eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

At least 532 civilians were killed during the Russian invasion, including 14 children, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry announced on Monday. He said a further 1,684 people, including 116 children, were injured.

Let’s take a look at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), how it works and whether it has jurisdiction over the dispute:

What is the ICJ?

The International Court of Justice {ICJ} is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It was created by the Charter of the United Nations in June 1945 and began its activities in April 1946.

The Court is composed of 15 judges elected for a nine-year term by the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands.

The Court has a dual role: first, to settle, in accordance with international law, by binding judgments without appeal for the parties concerned, the legal disputes submitted to it by States; and, secondly, to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized organs and agencies of the United Nations system.

The first case entered into the General List of the Court (Corfu Channel United Kingdom v. Albania) was filed on 22 May 1947.

Between May 22, 1947 and September 23, 2021, the ICJ handled 181 cases.

Jurisdiction of the ICJ in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict

According to a Reuters report, the ICJ does not automatically have jurisdiction in cases involving Russia and Ukraine. To give the court the power to hear the case, Kiev will have to base its claim on a UN treaty.

In the past, Ukraine has requested the intervention of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, which deals with war crimes.

After Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and subsequent fighting between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country’s eastern regions, Kyiv accepted ICC jurisdiction over crimes against humanity and the war crimes committed on its territory since February 2014.

In December 2020, the prosecutor’s office announced that it had reason to believe that war crimes and other crimes had been committed during the conflict, the Reuters says the report.

A formal request for a full investigation has not been filed with judges, but ICC prosecutor Karim Khan on Friday expressed concern over the Russian invasion and said the court may investigate. on alleged crimes arising from the current situation.

Comments are closed.