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Our Experts and Resources on Ukraine

Posted on: 07 March 2022

Discover our resources and what our experts say about the situation in Ukraine, with regular updates to include new events, articles and comments!

15 March IHL Talk: Russia and Ukraine

This IHL Talk on 15 March at lunchtime aims at shedding light on some of the legal issues stemming from the current armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia. As it is well-known, on 24 February 2022 Russian forces entered Ukraine, triggering a new phase of the international armed conflict which started in 2014. As a reaction, a growing number of states has provided assistance to Ukraine and has adopted increasingly severe sanctions against Russia.

First, the focus will be on the humanitarian impact of unilateral sanctions. Second, we will address challenges raised by the use of force against Ukraine, with a particular focus on the justifications provided by Russia. Lastly, we will analyse the conflict from an international humanitarian law perspective, focusing on instances of clear violations and more controversial ones.

By Our Experts and Professors

On War

Blog post by Professor Andrew Clapham in which he discusses – based on his recent book War – whether there are any legal implications behind the designation ‘war’ in this conflict and beyond.

Was Russia’s Recognition of the Separatist Republics in Ukraine ‘Manifestly’ Unlawful?

EJIL: Talk! blog post by our Teaching Assistant Pavle Kilibarda on Russia's recognition of the separatist republics in Ukraine as independent States.

Application of IHL by and to Proxies: The “Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk

In this blog post, Professor Marco Sassòli discusses the application of international humanitarian law by and to proxies: the ‘republics’ of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Statement by Members of the International Law Association Committee on the Use of Force

Statement condemning the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine and signed by our Research Fellow Dr Chiara Redaelli who is a member of the Committee on the Use of Force of the International Law Association.

Modem: Le strategie militari di questa guerra

Listen to Professor Marco Sassòli (in Italian, from 19 minutes onwards) who recalls on the Swiss Italian Radio that both parties have now to respect international humanitarian law in the war provoked by Russia's aggression: the aggressor and the defender.

Vincent Chetail: «Face à l’exode ukrainien, il y a un réveil de l’hospitalité européenne»

Interview (in French, paid access) of Professor Vincent Chetail in the newspaper Le Temps in which he recalls that the protection afforded by the 1951 Geneva Convention applies to all refugees, whether Ukrainian, African or Syrian.

UN experts call for end to Russian aggression against Ukraine and urgent protection of human rights

UN human rights experts call in this statement on the Russian Federation to immediately end its aggression against Ukraine and call off its unnecessary and unprovoked military attack. This statement was notably signed by Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Visiting Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy and UN Special Rapporteur on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights while Countering Terrorism, Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, Researcher at the Geneva Academy and UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, and Professor Gabriella Citroni, Member of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

The Matrix Law Pod Episode 29: Russia – Ukraine: What’s Law Got to Do With It?

Listen to Professor Andrew Clapham – part of our Faculty and one of our former Directors – on international law and the situation in Ukraine.

The Crime of Aggression as a Violation of the Rights of One's Own Population

An article co-authored by our Research Fellow Dr Chiara Redaelli on aggression as a violation of the rights of one's own population that will be published in the forthcoming Journal on the Use of Force and International Law.

En Ukraine, quand commence la guerre?

An article in French (paid access) in the newspaper Le Temps, with inputs from our Research Fellow Dr Chiara Redaelli.

Verwirrung um die Neutralität Experten sind sich uneins, ob die Übernahme der EU-Sanktionen gegen Russland eine Zeitenwende bedeutet

In this NZZ article (in German) Professor Marco Sassòli comments on Switzerland' neutrality in relation to the application of sanctions against Russia.

RULAC Online Portal

We are constantly updating our Rule of Law in Armed Conflict (RULAC) online portal and its entries related to the crisis: the international armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the non-international armed conflicts in Eastern Ukraine with the self-proclaimed ‘People’s Republics’ of Donetsk and Luhansk. RULAC also provides information about the military occupation of Crimea by Russia since July 2014.

These entries and RULAC also provide information on classification and applicable international law, including international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international criminal law.

The Digitalization of Armed Conflict

Cyber attacks form an integral part of the current armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Our projects on the digitalization of conflict address some of the main issues of contention concerning the application of international law, including IHL and international human rights law, to military cyber operations with notably three papers:

Guidelines on Investigating Violations of International Humanitarian Law

The Guidelines on Investigating Violations of International Humanitarian Law: Law, Policy and Good Practice – co-published with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – provide key guidance to states aiming to conduct investigations of IHL violations, but also to other bodies and individuals seeking a more detailed understanding of investigations in armed conflict.

This document – the first of its kind – is notably available in Russian and Ukrainian.