A Nuremberg Model for the Russian Invasion of Ukraine?


2023 marks the anniversary of several milestones in the field of international criminal law. The Moscow Declaration, adopted on 1 November 1943, paved the way for the establishment of the first international criminal tribunal in history in 1945: the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. This tribunal was the ground-breaking precedent for creating in 1993 the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which sought to punish the mass atrocity crimes committed during the war in the Balkans. In 1998, the International Criminal Court (ICC) was established, being the first permanent, independent and competent institution to investigate and prosecute individuals for the commission of international crimes, namely genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

The war in Ukraine has demonstrated that international efforts to fight impunity often experience numerous setbacks, which begs the question of what instruments would appropriately respond to scenarios where heinous crimes are being perpetrated. In light of the ICC’s jurisdictional limitations with respect to the situation in Ukraine, a proposal that has engendered a new spirit of consensus is that of creating a Special Tribunal for the Russian Crime of Aggression, whose form and location has yet to be determined. Director Professor Dr Christoph Safferling (Nuremberg Academy), Dr Gurgen Petrossian (Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg) and Ms Eleni Chaitidou (Kosovo Specialist Chambers) offered a compelling discussion on the establishment of a tribunal in crisis contexts and the role that it may play in the fight against impunity.  

This event in German language took place, as part of the Stadt(ver)führungen 2023, at Courtroom 600 in the Nuremberg Palace of Justice on 16 September 2023 at 3 pm.

Each year, the city of Nuremberg organises a weekend full of guided tours called “Stadt(ver)führungen”. The programme offers the opportunity to get to know Nuremberg and Fürth from different perspectives. Well-known personalities, artists, institutions, non-profit organisations, city guides and people with special interests give insights into unknown or normally restricted places with 1000 guided tours, enable contact to familiar faces of the city society or examine historical, current, fascinating and entertaining topics of the current annual theme.