2022 Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Ukraine moves to ICJ
The ongoing crisis has grabbed the attention of each country around the world, i.e., Russia attacking Ukraine and invading its territory.
The tensions between these two countries were not something that is not known by anyone, but it has boiled up for many years and now eventually aggravated to the phase of the war.
Russia placed its troops for training skills at the border of Ukraine last year itself. And now, On 24th February 2022, Russia officially invaded its territory.
Many civilians have lost and are losing their lives as the war continues with the passing days. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has already pointed out how the Russian military is killing small children and innocent people.
He said we are not afraid of fighting, but Russia must strictly restrict the attack to our army troops only and not the civilians.
Despite all the sanctions that are being imposed on Russia continuously by different countries, Russia is nowhere planning to stop.
After watching the antagonistic approach of Russia, President Zelensky moved to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Sunday. He filed a suit in ICJ in The Hague against Russia, claiming to hold Russia accountable for “manipulating the notion of genocide to justify aggression”.
Zelensky also wrote on Twitter about the filing of an application against Russia, for ceasing the military activities and for expecting trials next week.
Ukraine’s interior ministry on Monday said that almost 532 civilians had been killed in Russia’s attack, which included 14 children, and in addition to this number, 1,684 people, including 116 children, have been wounded.
In its application against Russia, Ukraine “emphatically denied” any type of genocide in Luhansk and Donetsk (the country’s eastern region).
Now, let’s understand more about ICJ and its workings in detail:
What is the International Court of Justice?
The International Court of Justice was established in June 1945 through the United Nations Charter, started working in April 1946.
The ICJ is considered to be the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN).
The role of the court includes settling all the disputes by international law which are filed by the States, and it also gives advisory opinions on legal questions. Such legal inquiries are referred to the court by specialized agencies and by authorized United Nations organs.
There are six principal organs in total, out of which only one is situated in New York (United States of America). The court’s seat is located at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands).
The official languages that are followed by the court are English and French.)
There are a total of 15 judges elected by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, the term of office of judges, is nine years.
A map of the origin of the Crisis
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is not something new, whereas it holds history; it has been there for a long time now. The number of reasons due to which the conflict transmitted to a Russia-Ukraine War, or rather Russia attacking Ukraine, are:
1) Last year, in January 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr urged US President Joe Biden to let Ukraine in NATO, which highly formed tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
2) Russia got so angry with this move of Ukraine that it sent some of its troops for training exercises at the Ukrainian border in the spring of last year. In December, the US voiced this Russian army deployment and warned Russia that if it invaded Ukraine, the US might take severe sanctions against Russia.
3) Russia demanded the West to provide a legally binding guarantee that NATO would not hold any military activity in Ukraine or Eastern Europe.
Vladimir Putin has also claimed that Ukraine was always a puppet of the West and never a state itself.
4) In 2014, Russia had annexed Crimea. At that time also, Russia invaded Ukraine, which led to boiling up the relations between both countries even more.
5) Ukraine being the former Soviet Republic, had significant ties in terms of culture and society with Russia, as the Russian language is followed in Ukraine. Still, the moment Russia invaded in 2014, those ties weakened severely.
6) When in early 2014, the pro-Russian President was deposed, Russia attacked Ukraine, claiming 14000 lives.
7) The Minsk peace accord and the Donbas region went in vain as they were fully implemented, which Russia and Ukraine were about to sign to stop the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
8) The new tensions that are taking place between Russia and Ukraine also bordered European Union, which is forming huge problems for the EU.
Now, along with the EU, most of the countries that are members of NATO are now joining hands against Russia for announcing sanctions.
9) Recently, the President of France flew to Moscow for having a word with President Putin in favour to relieve tensions and initiating dropping the guns.
10) In the current situation of crisis between Russia and Ukraine, India suggested a diplomatic way out.
The jurisdiction of the International court of justice in the conflict
ICJ does not have any implied or automatic jurisdiction in any case involving the two countries- according to a Reuters report. To apply in ICJ, Kyiv will have to base its claim on a UN treaty to give the court authority to hear the matter.
When in 2014, Russia-backed separatists annexed Crimea in the subsequent fighting with Ukrainian forces in the country’s eastern region, Ukraine asked for the involvement of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, which actively handles all war crimes.
At that time also, Kyiv accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC for any crime that will be related to humanity and war executed on its territory since February 2014.
On Friday, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan has expressed his concern over the invasion of Russia and said that the court might investigate the current situation crisis due to alleged crimes. In contrast, any formal request has not been filed yet with the judges to open a full investigation.
Edited by Prakriti Arora