The Russian aggression against Ukraine has triggered debates and initiatives on how to address crimes under international law committed in and against Ukraine, including war crimes and the crime of aggression. A single institution capable of dealing with all international crimes is nonetheless lacking.

Tens of thousands of alleged war crimes have been reported and documented, part of which the Ukrainian courts themselves are handling. The massive caseload requires international assistance, in addition to which the ICC is also investigating alleged war crimes.

The international community is divided in regard to the investigation and prosecution of the crime of aggression. As the ICC lacks jurisdiction with respect to this crime in this particular situation, European states are advancing a special ad hoc tribunal. Nonetheless, the majority of countries globally, particularly in the Global South, find it hard to support the initiative.

The discussion on the best way to proceed with regard to addressing the crime of aggression committed by Russia is ongoing. Many problematic issues are being debated, ranging from political desirability to the issue of head of state immunities.

Programdirektör, chefredaktör (Ulkopolitiikka-tidskrift)