[בעקבות פלישת רוסיה לאוקראינה, המהווה הפרה יוצאת דופן בחומרתה של המשפט הבין-לאומי, עם השלכות דרמטיות על השלום והביטחון העולמיים, אנו מפרסמים את גילוי הדעת הבא של מרצות.ים למשפט בין-לאומי בעניין.]
Following recent appeals by Ukrainian international law academics to international law academics worldwide, we wish to condemn in the strongest terms the ongoing aggression perpetrated by the Russian Federation against Ukraine.
We stand in solidarity with our Ukrainian colleagues, as well as courageous colleagues in Russia, who speak up against this act of aggression, often by incurring significant personal risks.
We oppose unlawful use of force, occupation, annexation, and all forms of discrimination wherever they might occur.
We furthermore object to any false claims of “de-Nazification” and prevention of genocide, as well as cynical manipulation of the memory of World War II, as pretexts for new acts of aggression.
We are also deeply concerned by the grave and ominous threats intimated by the Russian Federation against third-party states.
Article 2(4) of the Charter of the United Nations prohibits “the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.” The principle of territorial integrity is further enshrined in numerous UN resolutions and is a bedrock principle of international law.
The recognition by the Russian Federation of the breakaway territories of Donetsk and Luhansk has no legal validity, as it directly violates Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity under international law.
Consequently, the Russian Federation cannot invoke collective self-defense, pursuant to Article 51 of the UN Charter, to justify armed intervention in Ukraine on the basis of the “request” by these territories.
Furthermore, the Russian Federation has no right of individual self-defense against Ukraine, as there was no ongoing or imminent armed attack by Ukraine against Russia. Claims that Ukraine must be “demilitarized” do not give rise to any valid right of self-defense under international law.
As aggression is a violation of a peremptory norm of international law, states are under an obligation to cooperate, through lawful means – such as by imposing lawful sanctions and countermeasures – to bring an end to this unlawful situation and reverse its consequences. States are also obligated not to render aid or assistance in maintaining it. They are, in particular, under a duty not to recognize as lawful any situation created by this act of aggression, including an attempt to enact regime change in Ukraine.
Additionally, killings resulting from acts of aggression have been considered by international bodies as ipso facto violations of the right to life, and the Russian Federation could be held legally responsible for these deaths. By failing to solve its dispute with Ukraine peacefully, the Russian Federation is also failing its responsibilities under international law towards its own citizens who are put in harm’s way. Furthermore, all states are expected under international human rights law to lawfully oppose widespread or systematic attacks on the right to life, including acts of aggression.
Russia is an occupying power in several areas of Ukraine, and is bound to maintain public order and safety in these territories, including that of nuclear installations, while respecting the rules of the law of occupation, other provisions of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
We call upon the Israeli government to follow the example of other states, and to adopt a principled position on the situation in Ukraine, reflective of the long-term community interests of international peace and security, while addressing practical aspects of the humanitarian plight of the Ukrainian people.
Orna Ben-Naftali, College of Management Academic Studies
Eyal Benvenisti, Cambridge
Ziv Bohrer, Bar-Ilan University
Tomer Broude, Hebrew University
Amichai Cohen, Ono Academic College
Natalie Davidson, Tel Aviv University
Aeyal Gross, Tel Aviv University
Moshe Hirsch, Hebrew University
Tamar Hostovsky Brandes, Ono Academic College
David Kretzmer, Hebrew University
Eliav Lieblich, Tel Aviv University
Doreen Lustig, Tel Aviv University
Itamar Mann, Haifa University
Tamar Megiddo, College of Law & Business
Yaël Ronen, The Academic Center for Science and Law/Hebrew University
Michal Saliternik, Netanya Academic College
Yuval Shany, Hebrew University
Yahli Shereshevsky, Haifa University
Sivan Shlomo-Agon, Bar-Ilan University
Ariel Zemach, Ono Academic College