Chautaqua Principles

Chautaqua Principles: The 14th annual International Humanitarian Law Roundtables held August 28-30, 2022, at Lake Chautauqua, New York, culminated in the issuance of the “Chautauqua Principles” (see here). They, inter alia, state:

Current Law and Existing Judicial Mechanisms are Insufficient to Adequately Secure Justice for the Crime of Aggression
In the judgment of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg,…the crime of aggression was recognized as “the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” While the crime of aggression is defined in Article 8bis of the Rome Statute and represents customary international law, [in many situations] no competent judicial institutions have jurisdiction to prosecute those most responsible for this crime.  States should consider fixing this jurisdictional gap at the ICC.
    On February 24, 2022, nearly seventy-six years after the IMT’s landmark judgment, Russia launched an unlawful invasion of Ukraine.  Both national and international judicial systems need to prosecute those most responsible for the crime[] of aggression committed in Ukraine. International tribunal jurisprudence, which renders head of state immunity inapplicable regarding international crimes, including the crime of aggression, should inform their prosecution strategies. It is also essential that, in the event of its establishment, any tribunal or court addressing the unlawful invasion of Ukraine [be] fair, impartial, and not directed at any particular party or State.  Any new tribunal or court must adhere to a clear evidentiary standard of proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
    There is an urgent need for a viable proposal for the creation of a competent international tribunal with appropriate jurisdiction to prosecute those bearing the greatest responsibility for the crime[] of aggression against the people of Ukraine. With that said, any domestic or international tribunal[‘s] work, including those exercising extraterritorial jurisdiction, should not diminish, but enhance the work of the ICC.