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Zelensky criticizes idea of 'hybrid' tribunal during speech at the Hague

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 4, 2023 4:26 PM 1 min read
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During his speech to the Hague on May 4, President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized the idea of a hybrid tribunal to punish Russian war crimes.

Zelensky said the world "should not refer to the shortcomings of the current international law but make bold decisions" that would correct them in order to receive "full" justice, citing the Nuremberg trials as a precedent.

"This is exactly what the creators of Nuremberg did, and this is what we should do now. It would be a weakness for Europe and for us and for all nations to leave justice to history. It would be unfair to our children and grandchildren to hand them problems that we couldn't solve. That's what the tribunal is for," Zelensky added.

Voice of America reported on March 28 that the U.S. is among the countries favoring a hybrid tribunal to punish Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

However, in February 2023, Jennifer Trahan, a professor at the Center for Global Affairs at New York University, expressed concern that a tribunal lacking full international scope could impede the prosecution of individuals responsible for war crimes in Ukraine.

Trahan cited multiple factors to support this, including the weight of judgments issued by an international tribunal compared to a non-international one. Additionally, she noted that Ukraine's Criminal Code imposes relatively lenient sentences of seven to 15 years for crimes of aggression.

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