Justice Update – International Law primer Russia & Ukraine

Janet and Stephanie talk with Juliette McIntyre (left) and Astrid Reisinger Coracini (bottom right)

It’s been a head-spinning week, culminating in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There has been a lot of justification from different leaders and commentators of various stances, by reference to international law (and some very detailed discussions on twitter on some of the less well-known cases and precedents). We wanted to pick our way through and provide ourselves – and you – with a bit of a primer on which bits of international law may apply.

Meet our sneaky third commentator George who can be heard in the background when Juliette speaks

We’re recorded on Friday 25 February in the morning, so things may change. But we covered: self-determination and the speech by Russian leader Vladimir Putin in which he recognised the breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine – the ones already occupied by pro Russia forces – saying they are now independent; lawful humanitarian intervention, the responsibility to protect and the conditions under which it may be invoked; a state’s right to exist; treaties that both Russia and Ukraine may have signed up to and could lead to proceedings at the International Court of Justice; occupation, state’s responsibilities and the Geneva Conventions; war crimes and crimes against humanity and the International Criminal Court; and of course – the big one – aggression by a state or by an individual leader.

Just writing all that was exhausting! And the podcast itself is a bit packed, with gems from Juliette McIntyre from the University of South Australia and Astrid Reisinger Coracini from Salzburg Law School. Thank you both and those who recommended them.