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Articles on International law

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A Ukrainian war crimes investigator photographs the aftermath of a Russian missile attack in Zatoka, Ukraine, on July 26, 2022. Nina Liashonok/Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Proving war crimes isn’t simple – a forensics expert explains what’s involved with documenting human rights violations during conflicts, from Afghanistan to Ukraine

Other recent conflicts that resulted in war crimes allegations help explain how complex it will be to gather evidence of war crimes in Ukraine – and provide answers for families of victims of the war.
Protesters demand the freedom of the Sahrawi population. Jesus Merida/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Unpacking the power plays over Western Sahara

Long considered a frozen conflict, the Western Sahara dispute roared back to life in late 2020, reviving old wounds and inflicting fresh ones.
Grain warehouse destroyed by Russian attacks in Kopyliv, Kyiv province, Ukraine, May 28, 2022. Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Starving civilians is an ancient military tactic, but today it’s a war crime in Ukraine, Yemen, Tigray and elsewhere

Countries have used starvation as a war strategy for centuries, historically without being prosecuted. Three experts on hunger and humanitarian relief call for holding perpetrators accountable.
There have been calls to charge and prosecute Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes in Ukraine. Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Putin could be charged with the crime of aggression for the Ukraine war – but it’s an expensive process with high stakes

Countries would likely need to set up new courts to prosecute Vladimir Putin for illegally invading Ukraine – but this isn’t a sure bet he would ever be held accountable for his crimes.
The threat of expensive payouts may already be having an effect. Tom Stoddart/Getty Images

How treaties protecting fossil fuel investors could jeopardize global efforts to save the climate – and cost countries billions

A new study adds up the potential legal and financial risk countries could face from hundreds of agreements, like those under the Energy Charter Treaty.
Royal Canadian Air Force personnel load non-lethal and lethal aid at CFB Trenton, Ont., on March 7, 2022. The cargo was bound for Ukraine via Poland. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Ukraine war shows grim conventions on ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways to kill — and what makes a war crime

The laws of war and what is considered acceptable and unacceptable weaponry suggest there’s a right and wrong way to kill. It’s unlikely any of the victims of war would appreciate the distinction.
International Committee of the Red Cross workers prepare bags with bodies of government soldiers to be handed over in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, in 2015. AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov

Humanitarian aid workers need security, rights and better pay

Nearly all of the 129 aid workers killed on the job in 2021 were from the countries where they lost their lives.

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