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Tribunal for Russia - Three options for creating a special tribunal

Tribunal for Russia - Three options for creating a special tribunal Andrii Smyrnov, Deputy Head of the Office of the President for Judicial Matters (photo: Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

The Special Coordination Group is developing mechanisms to hold Russia accountable for crimes of aggression against Ukraine, and is currently considering three options for creating such a tribunal, states Andrii Smyrnov, Deputy Head of the Office of the President for Judicial Matters, during a television marathon.

The first option involves creating a tribunal through a decision of the United Nations General Assembly. As the official noted, the Ukrainian side insists on this model, which is deemed crucial and prioritized for our country.

"Such comprehensive decision would indeed make the mechanism highly legitimate, and the implementation path of the tribunal's decisions after the conviction of specific officials of the aggressor country would be much shorter," said the Deputy Head of the Office of the President.

The second option resembles the Nuremberg Tribunal model. In this case, Smyrnov explained, Ukraine would come out with a declaration in the form of an international treaty for the establishment of the tribunal, which would be open for signing and ratification by civilized world countries.

However, the official emphasized that this process is lengthy, and currently, only four countries have signed onto this model.

The third model is a hybrid one. In this scenario, such a court should initially be created as a part of Ukraine's judicial system, which would require amending the Constitution, something that cannot be done during a state of war.

According to Smyrnov, the creation of such a tribunal as a part of our country's judicial system "carries a significant risk that the crime of aggression would essentially be reduced to the level of a conflict between two countries," which is unacceptable since its consequences "are felt today by everyone, not just in Ukraine."

The Deputy Head of the Office of the President added that Ukraine is against the hybrid model of the special tribunal.

Smyrnov also mentioned that another option considered was the possibility of creating a tribunal in another internationally recognized jurisdiction, including the Netherlands. In this case, as well, he noted that Ukraine would insist on a decision from the UN General Assembly in support of such a tribunal.

Special tribunal for Russia over crimes in Ukraine

In early July, the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE adopted a resolution on the establishment of a special tribunal to hold Russia accountable for war crimes committed in Ukraine.

The group working on the creation of the tribunal for Russia's crimes of aggression against Ukraine consists of 37 countries.

In June, Fedir Venislavsky, a member of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defense, and Intelligence, stated that the international special tribunal could start operating as early as next year.