World Court orders Russia to halt military operations in Ukraine
Stephanie van den Berg – March 16, 2022
THE HAGUE (Reuters) -The United Nations’ top court for disputes between states ordered Russia on Wednesday to immediately halt its military operations in Ukraine, saying it was “profoundly concerned” by Moscow’s use of force.
Although the rulings of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) are binding, it has no direct means of enforcing them, and in rare cases in the past countries have ignored them.
“The Russian Federation shall immediately suspend the military operations that it commenced on Feb 24, 2022 on the territory of Ukraine,” the ICJ judges said in a 13-2 decision.
They added that Russia must also ensure that other forces under its control or supported by Moscow should not continue the military operation.
Ukraine filed its case at the ICJ shortly after Russia’s invasion began on Feb. 24, saying that Moscow’s stated justification, that it was acting to prevent a genocide in eastern Ukraine, was unfounded.
In addition to disputing the grounds for the invasion, Kyiv also asked for emergency “provisional” measures against Russia to halt the violence before the case was heard in full. Those measures were granted on Wednesday.
During hearings earlier this month, Ukraine said there was no threat of genocide in eastern Ukraine, and that the U.N.’s 1948 Genocide Convention, which both countries have signed, does not allow an invasion to prevent one.
Ukrainian government forces have been battling Russia-backed separatists in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine since 2014. Kyiv and its Western allies reject Moscow’s claims of any genocide being perpetrated against Russian speakers there.
Russia said it had skipped the hearings at the ICJ, also known as the World Court, “in light of the apparent absurdity of the lawsuit”. It later filed a written document arguing that the court should not impose any measures.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday welcomed the ruling by the ICJ on emergency mesaures as “a complete victory” in its case against Russia.
“The (ICJ) order is binding under international law. Russia must comply immediately. Ignoring the order will isolate Russia even further,” Zelenskiy said on Twitter.
Reading out Wednesday’s ruling, presiding judge Joan Donoghue said the court was “profoundly concerned about the use of force by the Russian Federation in Ukraine which raises very serious issues of international law”.
(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg, Marine Strauss, Natalia Zinets and Max Hunder; Writing by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Michael Perry, Jonathan Oatis and Gareth Jones)
UN court orders Russia to cease hostilities in Ukraine
March 16, 2022
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The United Nations’ top court on Wednesday ordered Russia to stop hostilities in Ukraine granting measures requested by Kyiv, although many remain skeptical that Russia would comply.
Ukraine had two weeks ago asked the International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, to intervene, arguing Russia violated the 1948 Genocide Convention by falsely accusing Ukraine of committing genocide and using that as a pretext for the ongoing invasion.
The court’s president, U.S. judge Joan E. Donoghue, demanded that “the Russian Federation shall immediately suspend the special military operations it commenced on Feb. 24.”
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The United Nations’ top court is set to rule Wednesday on a request by Ukraine for its judges to order Russia to halt its devastating invasion.
But it remains to be seen if Moscow would comply with any order made by the International Court of Justice, or ICJ, which is sometimes known as the World Court.
Russia snubbed a hearing last week at which lawyers for Ukraine accused their powerful neighbor of “resorting to tactics reminiscent of medieval siege warfare” in its brutal assault.
If a nation doesn’t abide by an order made by the court, judges could seek action from the U.N. Security Council, where Russia holds veto power.
In the days since the March 7 hearing, Russia has intensified its military strikes on towns and cities across Ukraine hitting civilian infrastructure across the country, including a deadly strike on a maternity hospital in Mariupol, and sending more than 3 million refugees fleeing across borders.
As part of a wider case that could take years to complete at the Hague-based ICJ, Ukraine asked judges to order Russia to “immediately suspend the military operations” launched Feb. 24 “that have as their stated purpose and objective the prevention and punishment of a claimed genocide” in the separatist eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.
David Zionts, a lawyer in Ukraine’s legal team, called that Russian claim “a grotesque lie.”
The request for an order to halt Russia’s attack is linked to a case Ukraine has filed based on the Genocide Convention, which has a clause allowing nations to take disputes based on its provisions to the World Court.
The success of Ukraine’s request will depend on whether the court accepts it has “prima facie jurisdiction” in the case.
Before last week’s hearing, the court’s president, U.S. judge Joan E. Donoghue, sent a message to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on March 1 pressing home the necessity to act “ in such a way as will enable any order the Court may make on the request for provisional measures to have its appropriate effects.”
UN top court orders Russia to halt military operations in Ukraine
Ivana Saric – March 16, 2022
The United Nations’ International Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday that Russia should immediately suspend its military operations in Ukraine.
Why it matters: This constitutes the first decision by an international court regarding Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. But while rulings by the ICJ are considered binding, the court doesn’t have the means to enforce them, per Deutsche Welle.
The big picture: Ukraine’s complaint to the ICJ, filed on Feb. 26, accused Russia of illegally attempting to justify the war in Ukraine through false claims of genocide being perpetrated in eastern Ukraine.
- “The Court is acutely aware of the extent of the human tragedy that is taking place in Ukraine. … The Court is profoundly concerned about the use of force by the Russian Federation in Ukraine, which raises very serious issues of international law,” presiding judge Joan Donoghue wrote in the ruling.
- Russia “shall immediately suspend the military operations commenced on 24 February 2022 that have as their stated purpose and objective the prevention and punishment of a claimed genocide in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts of Ukraine,” the ruling stated.
What they’re saying: “Ukraine gained a complete victory in its case against Russia at the International Court of Justice. The ICJ ordered to immediately stop the invasion,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted in response to the ruling.
- “The order is binding under international law. Russia must comply immediately. Ignoring the order will isolate Russia even further,” he added.