Lawyer Monthly - May 2022

RussiaUkraine Conflict: What Constitutes aWar Crime? Written By Rachel Makinson More than twomonths on from the outbreak of hostilities inUkraine, evidence has emerged of violence against civilians, among other crimes. Below, Rachel Makinson explainswhat “legally” defines awar crime and how it applies to the conflict inUkraine. What is a War Crime? The term “war crime” refers to any serious breach of international humanitarian law committed against enemy troops or civilians during a conflict. Such crimes predominantly stem from the Geneva Conventions (1949) as well as their Additional Protocols (1977) and the Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907). War crimes include: 1. Wilful killing; 2. Torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments; 3. Wilfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health; 4. Extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly; 5. Compelling a prisoner of war or other protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile power; 6. Wilfully depriving a prisoner of war or other protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial; 7. Unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement; 8. Taking hostages.

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