Ukraine: why states are storming the ICJ

Never before have so many states applied to be third parties to a dispute before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). To date, 22 states have applied to intervene in the case between Ukraine and Russia over allegations of genocide in Ukraine. Russia said it had to invade Ukraine to prevent genocide against Russian-speaking citizens. Ukraine said using such pretext, and false claim, was an abuse of the Genocide convention. There is even a counter claim by some that it is Russia that has genocidal intent against Ukrainians. Usually, such intervention from a third party state is to help the court reach the best interpretation of a treaty. But here states are also acting for “cooperative condemnation” - to offer their views on the wrongdoing of Russia, to show solidarity with Ukraine, says Juliette McIntyre of the University of South Australia in this new podcast with our partners of Asymmetrical Haircuts. Will the court accept the states’ submissions? The court still has to decide if it’s admissible but how can it resist it when more than 20 states are asking for it? Will states have speaking time? Will Russia object to it? Is Ukraine sharing the same argument as those intervening states? McIntyre explains the expected procedure and the bigger questions that may arise. And she gives tips on which submissions might be the most important to read.

Ruined buildings in Mariupol (Ukraine)
© Stringer / AFP
1 min 5Approximate reading time

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This podcast has been published as part of a partnership between and Asymmetrical Haircuts, a podcast on international justice produced from The Hague by journalists Janet Anderson and Stephanie van den Berg, who retain full control and independence over the contents of the podcast.

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