Foreign Affairs Committees of 13 countries call for an International Tribunal to bring Putin’s criminals to justice for conspiracy, planning and waging war of aggression against Ukraine. Why the call and what are the differences between ICC and a possible ‘ICTRu’

London, 5 March 2022 – Foreign affairs committee of 13 countries are calling for the establishment of an International tribunal with specific jurisdiction on war in Ukraine to gather evidence and bring to justice the planning and waging of this war of aggression, which is a crime under United Nations Charter.

As conspiracy, planning and waging aggressive war are crimes which go beyond the scope of the International Criminal Court, the cross party committees of Ukraine, Britain, Ireland, Poland, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, called for an International tribunal to gather evidence and charge individuals to bring Putin, his generals, financial entities and oligarchs to justice.

This tribunal would work along with the ICC which already set two hearings on Russian war crimes in Ukraine starting next Monday. The ICC, based in The Hague, has jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression, but not planning and abetting for instance.

“The war of aggression in Ukraine is a crime. It was a charge brought against previous dictators and became part of Russian law (Art 353), but it’s beyond the scope of the International Criminal Court” said chair of UK crossparty Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons Tom Tugendhat. “We need the Tribunal to investigate Putin’s criminal conspiracy and identify all financial and other assets used to support this crime of aggression”.

Previous International Criminal Tribunals, with specific jurisdiction, have been set up to investigate and can charge crimes such as the International Tribunal for crimes in the former Yugoslavia. ICTY, The legal process is initiated by a prosecutor on the basis of information received or obtained from any source, such as individuals, governments, international, inter-governmental or NGOs or UN agencies and observers. After that, the investigation starts to finally hold criminals liable.

Relevant: the crime of ‘superior responsibility’. An International Tribunal can charge defendants with two types of individual criminal responsibility. The first is for personally planning, instigating, ordering, committing or aiding and abetting in a crime. The second is for being in a position of authority and knowing or having reason to know that a subordinate or subordinates were about to commit or had committed such crimes but failed to prevent or punish them. This is known as superior responsibility.

Though it’s tough to have to wait until justice makes its course, this is it’s the only mean we have to stop this war, along with military support, sanctions, the cut off of Russia from markets and trade, as NATO said will not actively fight a war against Russia as setting a no-fly zone over Ukraine will lead, with no doubt, to this war spreading in the European continent with a high risk of use of nuclear weapons.