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RUSSIA’S MEMBERSHIP IN THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE WAS SUSPENDED!

Other international organizations condemn invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation and support Ukraine.

On February 25, 2022, Russia’s membership was suspended in two institutions of the Council of Europe: the Committees of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly. This decision was adopted by the Committee of Ministers in view of the military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. At the same time, the Russian Federation remains a member of the Council of Europe and is to fulfil all its obligations under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights, and the European Court of Human Rights continues reviewing cases against Russia.

International bar associations issued official statements condemning invasion by the Russian Federation of the territory of Ukraine and demanding immediate termination of military actions

Andrew Brown, President of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), issued a strongly-worded condemnation of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine.

“This act of unwarranted and illegal military aggression against a sovereign state is a flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter, Helsinki Accords, and established norms and principles of international law,” Brown said. “NYSBA joins the international community in demanding that the Russian Federation immediately withdraw its armed forces from Ukraine and restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity and international borders. NYSBA supports our new friends and colleagues in Ukraine and, in this dark hour, NYSBA stands with Ukraine”. https://nysba.org/new-york-state-bar-association-offers-support-solidarity-with-members-in-ukraine/

Sternford Moyo, President of the International Bar Association (IBA) stated: “This act by President Putin is a watershed moment that indisputably violates international law. Member States of the United Nations have, since 1945, agreed that territory should only change hands by consent. This rule is at the centre of maintaining international law and order between States. The IBA, founded to promote and protect the rule of law, strongly condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”.

Reginald Turner, President of the American Bar Association (ABA) underlined the following: “The American Bar Association is gravely concerned by the Russian Federation’s recognition of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) in eastern Ukraine. The recognition undermines the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, in violation of international law, including the UN Charter, and threatens the peace and stability of Ukraine. The ABA is also concerned about the deployment of Russian troops in these areas and the mass evacuation of residents into the Russian Federation. The ABA urges the Russian Federation to return to diplomatic negotiations to resolve disputes in these regions”. 

The Ukrainian American Bar Association (UABA) strongly condemned “recognition by the Russian Federation of the “independence” of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic”. Donetsk and Luhansk regions are part of Ukraine. This act of further aggression against Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity violates all norms of international law and established world order. We call upon the rest of the civilized world to continue to provide military, economic, and technical support to Ukraine, and to impose sanctions on the Russian Federation, including its personnel, assets and activities on Ukrainian territory, including the Crimea and the proxy formations in Eastern Ukraine”. 

Ken Dalling, President of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “The Law Society of Scotland condemns the use of force by Russia against Ukraine. International Law is clear that such actions are both legally and morally reprehensible. The invasion of Ukraine is an egregious breach of the rule of law and we support lawful action that will help bring this terrible conflict to an end as swiftly as possible”.

The Board and the Council of the German Society of International Law (DGIR) made a statement on the following: “The Charter of the United Nations obliges all Member States to refrain in their international relations from the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of another state (Art. 2(4) of UN-Charter). The armed attack by the Russian Federation against Ukraine violates this fundamental principle of international law upon which the current international order is based. The German Society of International Law promotes research, teaching, and drafting in the field of public international law. We insist that the language of public international law is being deliberately misused by Russia in order to advance legal allegations which are juridically untenable. We call upon all states and international actors to expose these sham arguments. Russia has a duty to refrain from any further use of military force, to withdraw its forces from the territory of Ukraine and to seek a peaceful settlement of this dispute together with Ukraine. All states are obligated to cooperate to bring to an end through lawful means this serious breach of the prohibition against the use of force, which is a peremptory norm of general international law”.

The Board of Directors of the European Association of Lawyers (AEA-EAL) strongly condemned the aggression of the Russian Federation towards the Republic of Ukraine. “The aggression initiated by President Putin is an attack on fundamental principles of democracy, human rights, and international order in Europe. This act of war is a clear violation of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, the Charter of Paris for a New Europe, OSCE Charter for European Security, and Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances. Universally recognized law clearly prohibits the use of force or threat of its use in international relations except for self-defence or acting based on the resolution of the UN Security Council. Both exceptions are not applicable in this context. We express our solidarity with the Nation of Ukraine and appeal to the authorities of all states to undertake steps ensuring full support for victims of war. We call our Members and Friends to engage in any possible help for citizens of Ukraine, including pro bono legal aid and assistance”.

The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) unequivocally condemned the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and stated the following: “The unwarranted invasion of a sovereign state represents an egregious attack on the rule of law. We welcome the statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court… We call on the Prosecutor to commence an immediate investigation in this respect with a view to the trial of the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and his accomplices. The Ukrainian people deserve the protection of the international legal order”.

The Ukrainian Bar Association continues coordination and joining forces with the international community!

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