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.
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.