S05E04: Myko­la Gna­tovskyy on the estab­lish­ment of a Spe­cial Tri­bunal to Inves­ti­gate the Crimes of Aggres­sion against Ukraine

How and why did the idea of call­ing for the estab­lish­ment of a spe­cial tri­bunal to inves­ti­gate the crimes of aggres­sion against Ukraine come up in the first place? Why was it nec­es­sary to call for the estab­lish­ment of a new Inter­na­tion­al Crim­i­nal Court when there is one already in The Hague? Why can the Inter­na­tion­al Crim­i­nal Court not inves­ti­gate Rus­sia for crimes of aggres­sion? Under what con­di­tions could any new­ly estab­lished spe­cial court suc­cess­ful­ly pros­e­cute any­one from the high­est ech­e­lons of the cur­rent Russ­ian regime? What is the broad­er sym­bol­ic sig­nif­i­cance of tak­ing such ini­tia­tives today, ini­tia­tives which may not imme­di­ate­ly be imple­ment­ed, but at least bring about a larg­er pub­lic dis­cus­sion about the role of inter­na­tion­al law in armed con­flict? And how will the quest for jus­tice in the face of clear Russ­ian mil­i­tary aggres­sion help the lives of all those ordi­nary Ukrain­ian cit­i­zens who have lost their loved ones and their homes dur­ing this dev­as­tat­ing war? What are the sub­tle dis­tinc­tions between crimes of aggres­sion and three oth­er types of crimes, name­ly: war crimes, crimes against human­i­ty, and genocide?

Guests fea­tured in this episode: 

Myko­la Gna­tovskyy, a renowned Ukrain­ian legal schol­ar who was recent­ly elect­ed to serve as judge at the Euro­pean Court of Human Rights. Before tak­ing up this very pres­ti­gious nine-year appoint­ment at the ECHR, Myko­la was a pro­fes­sor at the Insti­tute of Inter­na­tion­al Rela­tions, Taras Shevchenko Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty of Kyiv. He also advised the Ukrain­ian Min­is­ter for For­eign Affairs on inter­na­tion­al crim­i­nal jus­tice, and was a mem­ber of the Inter­na­tion­al Expert Board on Crimes Com­mit­ted dur­ing Armed Con­flict at the Office of the Pros­e­cu­tor Gen­er­al of Ukraine.

From 2015 until 2021, Myko­la served three con­sec­u­tive terms as Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mit­tee for the Pre­ven­tion of Tor­ture and Inhu­man or Degrad­ing Treat­ment or Punishment.

In March of this 2022, he was one of the orig­i­nal sig­na­to­ries, togeth­er with Ukraine’s Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs and the for­mer British Prime Min­is­ter, Gor­don Brown, call­ing for the estab­lish­ment of a spe­cial tri­bunal to inves­ti­gate Rus­sia for the crime of aggres­sion against Ukraine.


Shalini Randeria

Shalini Randeria is Rector and President of the Central European University (Vienna/Budapest). Before, she was Professor of Social Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute Geneva, and Rector of the Institute of Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna from 2014 to 2021. She has published widely on the anthropology of globalisation, law, the state and social movements. Her empirical research on India also addresses issues of post-coloniality and multiple modernities.