President Vladimir Putin committed a crime of aggression against Ukraine by planning, preparing and initiating an act of aggression that began on February 24, 2012. President Vladimir Putin defines the use of armed forces against the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of a state. The Ukrainian state, this crime is attributed to the President of the Russian Federation, and therefore he is guilty of an international crime that should not remain unpunished.
In order for Putin not to get away with it, it is still necessary to bring him to a court, which is likely to open an investigation, confirm the indictment, issue an arrest warrant and conduct a trial. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was adopted in 1998 and entered into force in 2002, establishing such a court.
Among the most dangerous
The text of the Statute classifies the crime of aggression among the most serious crimes affecting the entire international community. It also asserts that it falls within the jurisdiction of the Court. However, we will have to wait until 2010 for the crime of aggression to be defined and ways to exercise jurisdiction over it described. It was only in 2018 that the Assembly of States Parties to the Statute decided to activate the Court’s jurisdiction over this crime.
The Russian Federation is not a party to the Rome Statute and has not accepted or ratified the amendments to the crime of aggression adopted in 2010. It would theoretically be possible to open an investigation into the commission of the crime of aggression. Vladimir Putin’s aggression if the UN Security Council decides to refer the case to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. However, it must be borne in mind that the Union would prevent such a decision by the Security Council by exercising its veto as a permanent member of the Council.
Faced with such an impossibility, a proposal to create a special international jurisdiction is being circulated and is the subject of debate within the international community.
was formulated inCall for the formation of a special court to punish the perpetrators of the crime of aggressionIt was launched by prominent figures from the legal, diplomatic and political circles and with the support of a groupthe elders Comprised of former UN secretaries-general and human rights commissioners and heads of state, this appeal reads: “In the spirit of international solidarity [il est proposé] To grant jurisdiction derived from national criminal laws and public international law to a specialized international criminal court which should be established to investigate and prosecute individuals who have committed the crime of aggression against the territory of Ukraine, including those who materially influenced or constituted the commission of this crime.”
Let’s give our support
After careful consideration and after consideration of the arguments for and against the establishment of such a court, I consider this proposal to be worthy of support. I add my voice to those around the world who want Vladimir Putin on trial for the crime of aggression against Ukraine. I invite Quebecers to sign, as more than a million citizens of the world have already done and as I have done, the petition “Poutin in court” can be reached at https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/prosecute_putin_loc.
Daniel Tribe, Professor Emeritus, University of Montreal School of Law