On Wednesday November 30, Ursula Von der Leyen, the German president of the European Commission, stated that the European Union will set up a specialised tribunal, backed by the United Nations, to investigate and prosecute possible war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine. The French foreign ministry and Kiev regime echoed her remarks.
“We are ready to start working with the international community to get the broadest international support possible for this specialised court,” Von der Leyen said.
That this proposal is the opening scene in a staged drama for the entertainment and manipulation of the western public is apparent from the fact that there can be no “backing” of such a tribunal by the United Nations since only the Security Council has any possible jurisdiction to approve such a tribunal and clearly, both Russia, and China, which can expect the same treatment for itself from the West as Russia, will veto any motion in the Security Council to establish such a body.
If Von der Leyen is intending to rely on a vote in support by the UN General Assembly, then one wonders what her knowledge of the UN Charter is since the General Assembly votes have no legal force. But we can suppose that they may float such a proposal hoping the US and EU can coerce, bully and bribe a sufficient number of servile nations to give their stamp of approval so that they can claim they have the support of the “international community,” that is themselves and the nations under their sway.
The UN Charter does not provide any jurisdiction for the creation of quasi-judicial bodies under Chapter VII, which states that the only means permitted to be used against nations in violation of international law are military and economic, not judicial. The fact that the ad hoc tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the ICTY and ICTR, were created is a sad testimony of how the UN system can be abused. The Security Council had no powers under the Charter to create them and acted outside its powers when it did so, or as lawyers like to say, it acted ultra vires of its powers. That Russia did not veto the creation of these tribunals in the early 90’s can be explained by the fact that Russia had then a government that was weak and under the direct influence of the Americans and other NATO countries. It would never have allowed it if Presidents Putin or Medvedev had been in charge at the time.
The Chinese, however, realised the problem, expressing a willingness to vote for it only with the caveat that the adoption of the resolution should not prejudice China’s position on future resolutions on the subject. On 23 May 1993, when the UNSC was engaged in debate on Draft Resolution 827, which established the ICTY and adopted its statute, the Chinese representative explained his affirmative vote after the resolution was adopted by stating that China disputed the approach for the establishment of the tribunal by way of a UNSC resolution, rather than a treaty, with the latter route being the one China had preferred all along. He explained that, resembling a treaty, the statute should have been “negotiated and concluded by sovereign States and ratified by their national legislative organs. “Otherwise, its implementation would bring problems, unspecified, in both theory and practice.”
Secondly, the Chinese representative expressed the hope that this resolution would be a one-off exercise in setting up an ad hoc institution, and should not constitute a precedent. With that consideration in mind, Resolution 955, which approved the establishment of the second tribunal in 1994, for Rwanda, was obviously not agreeable to China as a repetition of the resolution-based approach, and China abstained in the voting on the resolution.
The fact that these tribunals were illegally created under the UN Charter and so in law do not exist was raised time and again by a number of defence lawyers representing accused at those tribunals. Of course, our arguments were dismissed out of hand and those of us that persisted were threatened with consequences. Nevertheless, as a matter of law the judgements and decisions of the ‘judges” of those tribunals are all invalid and have no force or effect.
And just as the Germans first proposed and pushed for the creation of the ICTY it is again the Germans who are pushing for the creation of another kangaroo court whose sole purposes will be to put out propaganda against Russia, to cover up their own war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine since 2014, and to attempt to justify their aggression against Russia and their support of fascists in Ukraine.
The idea for special war crimes tribunals originated with the United States Department of the Army in the early 1990’s, which alone should tell you something about its true purpose. The rhetoric used to justify such a body to the general public was of course heavily seasoned with concerns for “human rights” the “dignity of the individual”, “genocide” and “democracy,” just as it is now.
In order to accelerate the break up of Yugoslavia into quasi-independent colonies, principally of Germany and the United States, it was necessary to discredit their leaderships. An effective propaganda weapon in such an exercise is of course a tribunal with an international character which the public will accept as a neutral instrument of justice but which is controlled for political ends. NATO has the same objective with regards to Russia now.
Yugoslavia was the first experiment in using a quasi-judicial international body to attack the principle of sovereignty. And as the Americans have learned so well, the best way to get your domestic population behind you as you proceed to break another country, economically and militarily is to get them to hate those in power in that country. The Serb leadership was targeted, and transformed into caricatures of evil. There were comparisons to Adolf Hitler, a comparison used with surprising frequency by the United States against the long list of nations it has attacked in the last 50 years, though sometimes they are just labelled as common criminals, like Manuel Noriega, or mad, like Ghadaffi, if the leader or the country is too small to make the Hitler comparison stick. I think Saddam Hussein was the first to be compared to Hitler, and declared a common criminal and a madman all at the same time. We are hearing the same vile rhetoric about President Putin from western leaders and the mass media, which indicates what their ultimate objectives are.
Again, the European Union, Britain Canada and the USA are targeting another world leader, President Putin, and his government for the same reasons as they did President Milosevic, political ones. In this regard it is important to remember that in a statement to the Secretary-General of the United Nation, Mr. Boutros-boutros Ghali, on January 21, 1994, Antonio Cassese, the first President of the ICTY, made the Tribunal’s political character quite clear when he said in reference to the role of the Tribunal, “The political and diplomatic response (to the Balkans conflict) takes into account the exigencies and the tempo of the international community. The military response will come at the appropriate time.” In other words, the Tribunal is considered a political response. He went on to state, “Our tribunal will not be simply “window dressing” but a decisive step in the construction of a new world order.”
There you have it. Von Der Leyen on behalf of the EU and NATO is proposing the creation of another politically motivated kangaroo court, an illegal tribunal, without any jurisdiction, as part of the continuing US and NATO effort of establishing global hegemony, the construction of their new fascist world order, a tribunal to be used to fabricate indictments, conduct show trials, to propagandise against Russia, its leadership and people, while covering up and excusing their own crimes and justifying their aggression against Russia and the world. This use of what is nothing less than criminality to further more criminality is proof that the EU and NATO have openly adopted the techniques and ideology of fascism.
For once President Putin is “indicted” by this fake tribunal, there will be no possibility that any Western leader or government will be able to negotiate a peaceful resolution of the military conflict with him or any other Russian leader “indicted” with him nor negotiate over Russia’s security concerns. As with President Milosevic, President Putin will be labelled a criminal, and all possibility of negotiation, whether with the USA or EU, on resolution of the military conflict will be permanently blocked. Their intention is to make negotiations a complete impossibility. This means that war will be the only avenue for the resolution of the strategic political issues at stake. This is, in fact, the position of the Kiev regime with their mantra, “No negotiations with a war criminal.” And now it is the position of the EU and NATO. It is clear what their intentions are.
In this regard, Leonid Slutsky, the head of the Russian State Duma stated on December 1,
“The French Foreign Ministry’s statements about the beginning of work with the European and Ukrainian partners for creating a special tribunal for investigating Russia’s actions in Ukraine have no legal basis; this idea has a rather political dimension, the chairman of the State Duma’s international affairs committee.’
“The French Foreign Ministry’s statements to the effect that work has begun on creating an international tribunal for Ukraine have no legal basis and are rather political. There is no legitimate basis for the creation of an ad hoc tribunal. Implementing such an initiative will be impossible without trampling international law underfoot,” Slutsky told the media.
He added, “Preventing the truth about the true background of the Ukrainian crisis from reaching the European and American audiences is a matter of survival for today’s Western politicians in power. Otherwise, their own voters will oust them,”
He rightly pointed out that if an international tribunal is to be created in earnest, “there should be Ukrainian war criminals and their patrons from Washington in the dock.”
“The United States and its NATO allies, since the Second World War, have bombed the territories of more than 20 sovereign states, interfering in their state system and their sovereignty. This is what should be condemned at last. Then there will be far fewer causes for the conflicts like the one in Ukraine,”
And he is right. Once again Russia and the world are up against fascism in all its ugly forms and the more that time passes, the uglier the actions become, and the uglier they become, the more dangerous. But in the West, we see little reaction to all of this. There are few protests on the streets and those only in some EU countries suffering the consequences of their illegal sanctions on Russia.
In the USA, UK, in Canada there are no protests of any real significance; a few individuals here, some there. But the masses go along with the propaganda they are fed every day, even clamouring to be fed even more of the poison that warps their minds and reduces them to compliant automatons; unaware of reality, unconscious of the supporting role they play in the fascist theatre that they are both actors in and spectators of. The West has sunk into darkness, and now, only from the East does light illuminate the world.
Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.