UN Tribunal Hearings to Open in Ukraine vs. Russia Case | Military

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — As Russian forces pound Ukrainian towns with rockets despite announcing a ceasefire to allow civilians to flee some areas, lawyers representing Kiev and Moscow s face off in the United Nations’ highest court on Monday in a legal bid to stop the devastating war.

The International Court of Justice opens two days of hearings at its seat, the Peace Palace, on Ukraine’s request that its judges order Russia to end its invasion. Ukraine is due to present its arguments on Monday morning and Russia will be able to respond on Tuesday.

Ukraine has asked the court to order Russia to “immediately suspend the military operations” launched on February 24 “which have as their declared aim and purpose the prevention and suppression of an alleged genocide” in the eastern separatist regions of Lugansk and Donetsk.

A decision is expected on the request within days, but it remains to be seen whether Russia will comply with any order the court may issue.

If the court were to order a cessation of hostilities, “I think the likelihood of that happening is zero,” said Terry Gill, a professor of military law at the University of Amsterdam. He noted that if a nation does not comply with the court order, judges could seek action from the United Nations Security Council, where Russia holds veto power.

The request for so-called interim measures is related to a case that Ukraine filed under the Genocide Convention. Both countries have ratified the 1948 treaty, which contains a clause allowing nations to bring disputes based on its provisions to the court in The Hague.

Kyiv argues that Moscow’s claims about Ukraine’s genocide in Donetsk and Luhansk, which President Vladimir Putin used as a pretext for his invasion, are fabricated.

“Ukraine categorically denies that such genocide took place and that the Russian Federation has a legal basis to take action in Ukraine and against Ukraine with the aim of preventing and punishing genocide,” the statement said. country in its application to the court.

Ukraine’s nine-page legal brief opening the case argues that “Russia overturned the Genocide Convention” by making a false statement. He adds that “Russia’s lie is all the more offensive and ironic that it appears to be Russia planning acts of genocide in Ukraine.”

The success of Ukraine’s claim will depend on the court accepting its “prima facie jurisdiction” in the case, which does not guarantee that the court will ultimately proceed with the action. Cases brought before the International Court of Justice usually take years to process.

Regardless of the outcome of Monday and Tuesday’s hearings, they give Ukraine another platform to air its grievances over the invasion of Moscow.

“It’s part, I think, of an overall diplomatic strategy to try to put maximum pressure on Russia,” Gill said.

———

Follow AP coverage of the Ukraine crisis at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Comments are closed.