Kuleba Suggests Creation of a Special Tribunal for the Russian Government and Lays Out 5 of Its Parameters

Thursday, 14 July 2022

Dmytro Kuleba, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, has suggested the creation of a Special Tribunal for prosecuting the military and political administrations of the Russian Federation for crimes committed in Ukraine.

"I’m speaking clearly: Ukraine is accusing Russia of the crime of aggression. In conjunction with other states, organisations and institutions we will use all the available instruments in order to get justice for thousands of innocent victims of this crime. We won’t give up until the guilty are held accountable," European Pravda referring to the press-service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

The Minister has listed five main parameters that Ukraine suggests using as the foundations of the future Tribunal:

–   The Special Tribunal will be based on rules and approaches applied by the International Criminal Court and prescribed in the Rome Statute. The Special Tribunal will investigate and prosecute the crimes of aggression against Ukraine committed in its territory, as defined by Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

–   The jurisdiction of the Special Tribunal will cover all the events since February 2014, i.e. the beginning of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.

–   The Special Tribunal will be authorised to prosecute individuals who are in control of political or military actions of the state or directly manage them.

–   The official status of the defendant, such as the status of Head of State or of another official of the state level, will neither protect said individual from criminal prosecution nor will it mitigate the punishment.

–   The Special Tribunal will only prosecute crimes of aggression against Ukraine and will be created as a special international criminal ad hoc tribunal for prosecuting the military aggression of Russia against Ukraine.

Kuleba has explained that while international criminal justice has a sufficient number of tools for investigating war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, the existing institutions are facing legal obstacles while investigating the crime of aggression against Ukraine.

This is why it is necessary to create a Special Tribunal able to hold the Russian political and military administration accountable for this very crime.

"If there are no corresponding tools that allow us to do justice, we will come back to the basics of international criminal justice in order to create such tools," claimed Kuleba.

The initiative for creation of the Special Tribunal is already supported by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, NATO Parliamentary Assembly, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania.

Marco Buschmann, the Federal Minister of Justice of Germany, is convinced that Russian war crimes committed in Ukraine will take years to investigate.

At the end of May, representatives of the group of countries that are working on the investigation of Russian war crimes in Ukraine had a coordinating meeting in Hague after multiple requests to prosecute those guilty for the war atrocities.

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