University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign law professor Patrick Keenan is an expert in human rights, counterterrorism law and international criminal law. He spoke with News Bureau business and law editor Phil Ciciora about the illegality of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the potential for war crime prosecutions stemming from atrocities committed against civilians. An excerpt from their interview follows:
Was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine illegal under international law? Can anyone be prosecuted for it?
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine looks like a crystal-clear violation of the United Nations charter. The U.N. charter says that all states must refrain from using violence to resolve disputes unless they are defending themselves or their allies, and a few other very narrow instances. Russia wasn’t doing that here. Invading another country in these circumstances is called the crime of aggression, and it is illegal under international law.
Read the full interview at news.illinois.edu.