[SCL Lecture] Pursuing accountability for the crime of aggression against Ukraine

21 - 21 September 2023
  • Starts at: 19:00h
  • Fee: Free
  • Venue: Asser Institute
  •   Register

Please note that registrations have closed. If you wish to be placed on the waiting list, please contact conferencemanager@asser.nl

Join us on 21 September for the SCL Lecture 'Pursuing accountability for the crime of aggression against Ukraine'. The lecture will take place at the Asser Institute in The Hague, and will include a reception. During the lecture, we will discuss different models and mechanisms for pursuing accountability for the crime of aggression against Ukraine.   

On 4 May 2023, when he visited The Hague, Ukrainian President Zelenskyу spoke about the pursuit of accountability for international crimes committed in Ukraine. He then remarked: “Only one Russian crime led to all of these crimes: this is the crime of aggression, the start of evil, the primary crime. There should be responsibility for this crime.”

Even though Ukraine can prosecute individuals for the planning, preparation or initiation of an aggressive war or armed conflict, or conspiring for any such purposes, as well as waging an aggressive war or aggressive hostilities (Article 437 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine), the framing of this provision, and the issue of immunity ratione personae would make prosecution in national courts of high-level foreign officials, such as Putin, complicated. Moreover, the ICC does not have jurisdiction over the crime of aggression in this situation as both Russia and Ukraine have not ratified the Rome Statute, and the UN Security Council will not refer the situation to the ICC because of Russia’s veto.  

As a result of this, discussions on establishing a tribunal for the crime of aggression have been gaining momentum. One of the topics under discussion, among both politicians/policy makers and academics, is the exact model this tribunal could and should take. For example, during the same visit to The Hague at the beginning of May, President Zelenskyy clarified he wanted a fully international criminal tribunal and not a hybrid/internationalised model (a court rooted in Ukraine’s judicial system, but including international elements as well), the model advocated for by U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack a few days earlier.   

In this supranational criminal law (SCL) lecture, co-organised by the Ukrainian Embassy in The Hague and the International Humanitarian and Criminal Law Platform of the Asser Institute, these different models, as well as any other mechanisms that could be considered in pursuing accountability for the crime of aggression will be critically explored.

Confirmed speakers

  • Oleksandr Karasevych, Ambassador of Ukraine to The Netherlands
  • Dr. Anton Korynevych, Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
  • Dr. Astrid Reisinger Coracini, University of Vienna
  • Prof. Larissa van den Herik, Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies at Leiden University
  • Dr. Owiso Owiso, International lawyer and independent consultant
  • Dr. Christophe Paulussen, Asser Institute
  • Prof. André Nollkaemper, University of Amsterdam

Download the programme

The lecture will be concluded with a reception.  


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