Rule of Law against the Rule of Force in The Russian-Ukraine Crises

Publication Date : 10/03/2023

Author(s) :

Eric Chigozie Ibe Esq , Asso. Prof. Halima Doma.

Volume/Issue :
Volume 4
Issue 1
(03 - 2023)

Abstract :

The United Nations Charter has clearly prohibited the use of force by a state against another state. This policy was put in place with intent to maintain international peace, stability, and respect for the sovereignty of individual nations. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014 and subsequently invaded Ukraine in February 2022 which has since then been carrying out attacks on Ukraine. This article examined how Russia violated the prohibition of the use of force under international law by invading Ukraine and annexing part of its territory, and the possibility of Russia facing the desired legal consequences. The authors in achieving this objective resorted to the doctrinal approach of legal research which is library based. It was discovered that Russia has clearly violated the international laws prohibiting the use of force. However, the possibility of obtaining remedy against Russia pose a major challenge. First, ICC lacks the jurisdiction to prosecute Russia because both Russia and Ukraine are non-parties to the Rome Statute and its amendments on aggression. Second, any referral by the UN Security Council will be vetoed by Russia being one of the five permanent members of the Council. Lastly, prosecution at national courts may be impeded by immunity of Heads of States and public officials. The evident option for Ukraine is to explore setting an international tribunal either via the UN, ICC, or agreement with an international organisation or other states. Key Words – Rule of Law, Rule of Force, Crime of Aggression, International Criminal Court.

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