July 12, 2024

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War in Ukraine: Gordon Brown supports a Nuremberg-style trial for Russian President Vladimir Putin

Gordon Brown and Sir John Major are calling for the establishment of a new international tribunal to investigate Vladimir Putin’s activities in Ukraine.

Former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are among 140 academics, lawyers, and politicians who have signed a petition advocating for a legal system modelled after the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals after WWII.

Mr Putin is already being investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for potential war crimes in Ukraine.

However, some argue that its capabilities are restricted.

Without a referral from the UN Security Council, which Russia might veto, the ICC cannot prosecute the crime of aggression.

Mr Brown said in the Daily Mail that establishing a new tribunal would plug a “loophole” in international law that “Putin could use to avoid justice.”

It is hoped that the tribunal will act in addition to the ICC’s ongoing war crimes investigations.

Seven hundred thousand people have already signed the petition, including dozens of celebrities.

The petition has been signed by Philippe Sands QC, Benjamin Ferencz, a former prosecutor for the Nuremberg Military Tribunal, Labour peer Helena Kennedy QC, and Sir Nicolas Bratza, former president of the European Court of Human Rights.

The Nuremberg trial, called after the German city where it took place, was the world’s first international war crimes trial, and it saw the most infamous Nazis put on trial for their crimes. The military aggression, violations of warfare norms, and crimes against humanity were among the charges.

For the first time, US President Joe Biden referred to Vladimir Putin as a “war criminal” this week.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson are among the other leaders who have accused Russia of war crimes.

The Russian military is accused of bombarding civilian areas in Ukraine and pursuing fleeing civilians.

Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine are underway, but UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has cautioned that the meetings could be used as a “smokescreen” by the Kremlin.

Meanwhile, Conservative MP Johnny Mercer stated on Friday that he had visited Ukraine, where he saw “absolute carnage” as well as “great human spirit” demonstrations.