Prosecuting the Russian Aggression – Assessing Proposals to Enable the Prosecution of Russian Leaders for the Crime of Aggression

Detta är en Uppsats för yrkesexamina på avancerad nivå från Lunds universitet/Juridiska institutionen; Lunds universitet/Juridiska fakulteten

Sammanfattning: The Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought immense suffering to the Ukrainian people and has destabilised the European security order. In response, world leaders and international organisations have called for the prosecution of the Russian aggression. However, the scholarly debate on the appropriate measures to ensure criminal accountability for the crime of aggression has demonstrated widespread disagreement among scholars. The present thesis aims to take a first step towards a more structured and constructive discussion – adopting a goal-oriented approach to international criminal trials. The thesis lays the foundation for a model to assess different proposals to enable the prosecution of Russian leaders for the crime of aggression. The choice of appropriate criteria for the assessment model is made through the lens of legality and legitimacy. The concepts of internationalisation, fair trial standards, and non-selectivity are examined closely to develop indicators of the criteria. Three different proposals are thereafter assessed: (1) amending the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, (2) a Special Tribunal established through the UN system, and (3) a treaty-based Special Tribunal. The model does not deal with practical and political obstacles to the prosecution of Russian leaders. Ultimately, it is up to skilled politicians and diplomats to create enough political momentum to ensure criminal accountability. However, the results show that a goal-oriented approach offers a valuable perspective when deciding between different paths towards criminal accountability in the present situation.

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