Wednesday, March 16, 2022

The International Court of Justice orders Russia to immediately halt its invasion of Ukraine The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague has ordered Moscow to immediately stop its invasion of Ukraine, saying there is no evidence to support its justification of the war. During a hearing Wednesday, the court ruled there was no evidence to support Russian claims that Ukraine was committing genocide in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, whereby Moscow has justified its invasion of Ukraine. "The Russian Federation shall immediately suspend the military operations commenced on 24 February, 2022, that have as their stated purpose and objective the prevention and punishment of a claimed genocide in the Luhansk and Donetskoblasts of Ukraine," it said. The Court also called for other forces supported or controlled by Moscow to cease their military operations, and for Russia to refrain from aggravating or extending the dispute. Ukraine filed a dispute on Feb. 26 against Russia on the basis of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. It asked the ICJ to deliberate on Russian claims that Ukraine was committing genocide in the Donbas. The hearing took place in the Peace Palace in The Hague, where presiding Judge Joan E. Donoghue read out the Court’s order. The preliminary decision was confirmed by a 13-2 vote. A Russian and a Chinese judge were the two to vote against the decision. "The court is acutely aware of the extent of the human tragedy that is taking place in Ukraine," Donoghue said. "The court is profoundly concerned about the use of force by the Russian Federation in Ukraine which raises very serious issues of international law." ICJ rulings are considered binding, though the court lacks an enforcement mechanism. Russia boycotted a previous ICJ hearing on March 7.