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January 8, 2023 Russia-Ukraine News

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Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaks with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday. (CNN)

British politicians from across the political spectrum have called for the creation of a special tribunal to investigate Russia’s “crime of aggression” in Ukraine.

A statement published on the website of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Friday proposed “the establishment of a special tribunal with a limited focus on the crime of aggression” to complement the investigation by the International Criminal Court ( CPI) on the Russian war. crimes in Ukraine.

The proposal has won the support of British politicians, including opposition leader Keir Starmer and former Conservative party leader and MP Iain Duncan Smith, according to British newspaper The Observer, which said a copy of the statement had been shared with them.

The UN defines aggression as “the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations “.

The ICC is unable to investigate a crime of aggression if the alleged act is committed by a state that is not a party to the Rome Statute that created the court, unless the Security Council of the UN refers to it.

As Russia has not ratified the Rome Statute and “would likely exercise its veto in the Security Council against a referral”, the ICC could not “investigate crimes of aggression against Ukraine”, says the communicated.

During an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday, Brown said that having dealt with Russian President Vladimir Putin while he was in office, he thinks the “one thing” Putin “understands is the strength”.

“One of our strengths is to say that this is an international crime. And in particular the crime of aggression,” Brown added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on this court to investigate crimes of aggression at an event hosted by the US Institute for Peace, the Atlantic Council and the Ukrainian Embassy last month.

“The crime of aggression is the alpha and omega of war,” Zelensky stressed during his address.

“Triggering a criminal and unprovoked war means opening the door to thousands of crimes committed during hostilities and in occupied territory,” the president added.

British politicians have said the tribunal could take shape in a format similar to the Nuremberg trials held between 1945 and 1946, which saw Nazi officials tried for plotting and carrying out invasions of other countries.

“The Special Court should be constituted – on the same principles that guided the allies in 1941 – to investigate acts of aggression by Russia, aided by Belarus, in Ukraine and determine whether they constitute a crime of aggression “, reads the press release on Friday.

“In addition to investigating and indicting President Putin, the court could also hold to account members of the National Security Council from Russia, and possibly Belarus, as well as political and military leaders for this blatantly illegal war.” , continues the press release.

The UK is not the first to publicly express its support for this type of tribunal, initially proposed by Anglo-French lawyer Philippe Sands in February.

On November 30, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, presented in a statement the EU’s proposal to create a “specialized tribunal, supported by the United Nations, to investigate and prosecute the crime of aggression of Russia”.

Von der Leyen expressed the EU’s willingness to “start working with the international community to obtain the widest possible international support for this specialized tribunal”.

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