Gordon Brown and Sir John Major are calling for the establishment of a new international tribunal to probe Vladimir Putin’s activities in Ukraine. Former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are among 140 academics, lawyers, and politicians who have signed a petition advocating for a legal system modelled after the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals after WWII.
Mr Putin is already being investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for potential war crimes in Ukraine. However, some argue that its capabilities are restricted. Without a referral from the UN Security Council, which Russia might veto, the ICC cannot prosecute the crime of aggression.
Mr Brown said in the Daily Mail that establishing a new tribunal would plug a “loophole” in international law that “Putin may use to avoid justice.” “We must act quickly to reassure the Ukrainian people that we are dedicated to action rather than simply nice words, and we must warn Putin’s allies that the noose is tightening. They risk being prosecuted and imprisoned if they do not distance themselves from Putin “Mr Brown drafted a letter.
It is envisaged that the tribunal will operate in addition to the ICC’s ongoing war crimes investigations. 740,000 individuals have already signed the petition, including hundreds of celebrities.
Professor of international law Philippe Sands QC, a former prosecutor for the Nuremberg Military Tribunal Benjamin Ferencz, Labour peer Helena Kennedy QC, and former president of the European Court of Human Rights Sir Nicolas Bratza are among those who have signed the petition.
The Nuremberg trial, called after the German city where it took place, was the world’s first international war crimes trial, and it saw the most infamous Nazis put on trial for their crimes. Military aggression and violations of warfare traditions were among the charges.
For the first time, US President Joe Biden referred to Vladimir Putin as a “war criminal” this week. The statements were condemned by the Kremlin as “unacceptable and unforgivable speech.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson are among the other leaders who have accused Russia of war crimes.
The Russian military is accused of bombarding civilian areas in Ukraine and pursuing fleeing civilians. In the besieged southeastern city of Mariupol, a theatre where hundreds of people were hiding was attacked on Wednesday. Ukraine has also condemned Russia’s airstrike on the hospital in Mariupol as a war crime.
Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine are underway, but UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has cautioned that the meetings might be used as a “smokescreen” by the Kremlin. “If a government is serious about discussions, it doesn’t indiscriminately attack civilians that day,” she remarked in an interview with the New York Times.
Meanwhile, Conservative MP Johnny Mercer stated on Friday that he had visited Ukraine, where he observed “absolute devastation” as well as “great human dignity” demonstrations.
The Army veteran, who travelled to Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, posted photos of himself visiting injured people in hospitals on Twitter. He chose to fly to Ukraine after being approached by a former MP in the Donetsk region, he said in the Daily Telegraph. The government advises against visiting the nation.
According to Mr Mercer, who spoke to The New York Times, “I didn’t inform anyone; I simply vanished. I decided that that was the proper thing to do.” The UK government has announced that two million medical goods, including painkillers, insulin injections, and critical care equipment, had been sent to Ukraine.