International Court of Justice rules against Russia

International Court of Justice rules against Russia Source: ICJ

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the highest court of the United Nations, rules against Russia over its claims of genocide in Ukraine and has ordered the country to cease hostilities with immediate effect.

Ukraine had Russia violated the 1948 Genocide Convention by falsely accusing Ukraine of committing genocide against Russian speaking people in the country, using the claim as a pretext for the ongoing invasion. The court however found that Ukraine had nothing to answer for and that the claims were invalid.

Although the court has ruled against Russia it is unlikely they will comply, having said earlier they do not recognise the court’s jurisdiction in the ongoing conflict. Countries that refuse to abide by court orders can be referred to the UN Security Council, where Russia holds veto power.

The court’s President, Judge Joan E. Donoghue, said: “The Russian Federation shall immediately suspend the special military operations it commenced on 24 February 2022.”

Despite the “lack of teeth” the court has in enforcing its ruling, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hailed it as a major breakthrough.

Writing on Twitter he said: “Ukraine gained a complete victory in its case against Russia at the International Court of Justice.

“The ICJ ordered to immediately stop the invasion. The order is binding under international law. Russia must comply immediately. Ignoring the order will isolate Russia even further.”

Moscow had snubbed the hearing last week when lawyers for Ukraine presented their case, saying that Russia had started an “unprovoked aggression”.

David Zionts, a Ukraine legal team member, told the court that the invasion brought “cities under siege, civilians under fire [creating a] humanitarian catastrophe and refugees fleeing for their lives.”

Russia responded to the claims in writing saying arguing that The Hague-based court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case and that nothing in the convention forbids the use of force.

In an unsurprising 13-2 decision, Russian and Chinese judges dissented, the court told Moscow to ensure military units “take no steps” to further the conflict, which Russia refers to as a “special military operation.”

Karim Khan, the International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor, met with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday 16th to discuss the court’s ongoing investigation into possible war crimes in the country.

The ICJ have asked states to collect and to protect evidence of war crimes as it can both hold states responsible, as it can prosecute individuals.

Whilst Russia is not likely to abide by the International Court of Justice ruling against them, the ruling is a moral victory for Ukraine as well as major victory in the war to win the propaganda war.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.

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