International Court of Justice in The Hague holds fast track hearing on Ukraine

Outside the Peace Palace on Monday. Photo:
Outside the Peace Palace on Monday. Photo:

Russian president Vladimir Putin has said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, or what he calls a ‘special military operation’, is to end the ‘genocide of the millions of people who live’ in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine.

Ukraine argues that Russia has misinterpreted the treaty and that there is no evidence genocide has or will take place in eastern Ukraine, describing the claim as ‘nonsensical and utterly unsupported’.

It wants the ICJ to establish that ‘Russia has no lawful basis to take action in and against Ukraine for the purpose of preventing and punishing any purported genocide’.

The case centres on a treaty from 1948 covering the prevention of genocide, which was signed by both Russia and Ukraine.

The ICJ is the highest UN court for resolving disputes between states and cases usually take years to resolve. However, it does have a fast-track procedure to look at requests for ‘provisional measures’ as Ukraine has requested.

The hearings, which are being live-streamed, start on Monday at 10am with the Ukraine case and Russia will respond on Tuesday.

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