EU Parliament Votes For Special Court To Investigate Russia's War Crimes



by   |  VIEW 366

EU Parliament Votes For Special Court To Investigate Russia's War Crimes

On Wednesday, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of setting up a special international court to investigate alleged war crimes in Russia's war against Ukraine. The decision, which is not legally binding, comes amid growing concern over atrocities reported from cities such as Bucha and Irpin, which highlight the importance of coordinated international action.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who had previously proposed such a legal format, emphasized the need for a special court that would complement the investigative efforts of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The ICC, which is based in The Hague, is currently not allowed to act in this case as Russia withdrew its support for the court in 2016.

"Effective Consequences Difficult to Set"

The chief prosecutor of the ICC is already investigating the situation in Ukraine, however, since Russia withdrew its support for the court in 2016, any convictions would lack the power to force the state to implement a judgment.

This has made it difficult to set effective consequences and has led to calls for a special court that would have the power to hold Russia accountable for its actions.

"Negotiation Under Ukrainian Law?"

Baerbock proposed such a special court on Monday, arguing that Russian war crimes should be tried according to Ukrainian law.

However, the international law graduate emphasized the need for the court to be based abroad and strengthened with international elements in order to gain broad legitimacy. The resolution passed by the European Parliament calls for the special court to investigate not only Russian President Vladimir Putin and the political and military leadership of Russia, but also the political and military leadership in Belarus.

It also calls on all partners to support such a tribunal and for Russia to be held accountable for its war of aggression. "We talked about working with Ukraine and our partners on the idea of setting up a special tribunal for crimes of aggression against Ukraine," said Baerbock, per Reuters.

"Numerous War Crimes Feared"

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed the adoption of the resolution in the European Parliament, stating on Twitter, "I call on all our partners to support such a tribunal. Russia must be held accountable for its war of aggression and justice must prevail."

Investigations by the Ukrainian authorities have revealed that Russian armed forces have committed war crimes in several areas.

For example, after the withdrawal of Russian units from the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, the bodies of more than 400 people were discovered. Most of them had died violent deaths, and investigations are ongoing.