Episode 74 – Interventions for Aggression with Christian Wenaweser

Ambassador Christian Wenaweser speaks with Stephanie and Janet

Liechtenstein has long been at the forefront of the prosecution of the crime of aggression at the International Criminal Court. As the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine approaches, we decided to catch up with Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, the Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein to the United Nations since 2002, to discuss why the ICC is not the venue to prosecute Russia’s leadership and whether a new institution is needed. 

Before digging into the conversation, we bring you the latest from the European Commission’s announcement that an International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression in Ukraine would be set up in The Hague. This happened a few days after our conversation with Ambassador Wenaweser but did not come as a surprise. Philippe Sands gave us a hint about that back in September and US Ambassador for Global Criminal Justice Beth van Schaack confirmed it in the last month’s episode. 

In our timely conversation, we discuss with Christian how a separate institution prosecuting the crime of aggression would combine with the work of the ICC. We ask him how international such a tribunal should be in order to prosecute the Russian leadership effectively. 

We also look back at his work for the historic ratification of the Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute, where the crime of aggression was defined. And we took in a few questions from Ukrainian colleagues. 

Christian recommends Cormac McCarthy’s books and an interesting selection of movies: current awards darling The Banshees of Inisherin, and some more obscure choices Hangmen Also Die! from Fritz Lang on the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in 1942 and the documentary by Lizzie Gottlieb Turn Every Page – The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb.