Open Lecture of Prof. Philippe Sands (University College London, UK) – “Crimea and International Law” « International Office

Open Lecture of Prof. Philippe Sands (University College London, UK) – “Crimea and International Law”

MAY 4, 2015 – On April 30, 2015, Queen’s Counsel, Professor of Law at University College London (UK) Philippe Sands conducted an open lecture “The Crimea and International Law” in the Mirror Hall of IFNUL.

“During the lecture I will talk about the possibilities of international law. However, I will be very cautious in my statements so as not to create unexpected situations. I will ascertain the facts – started the lecture Professor Philippe Sands. – You must first turn to history. Exactly 100 years ago, Galicia and Lviv in particular, was occupied by Russian troops. To the surprise of the international community, through the century, Russia encroaches on the territorial integrity of Ukraine again, in particular its eastern part. In such a situation it is necessary to effectively apply international law, which since 1915 has gained significant changes.”, – said Philippe Sands.

Outlining the major milestones that have influenced the development and establishment of international law Professor Sands noted that because of this “sometimes there is no need to act quickly and hasty conclusions.” Speaking about the most real Ukraine’s way out of belligerency and the opportunity to defend its rights in international courts, Professor Philippe Sands stressed that Ukraine has three legitimate legal arguments which may rely on. “This – the fact of the sovereignty of the country, human rights and property rights. To choose the one best option – it makes no sense, you should try all”, – convinced Professor Sands.

During the lecture Philippe Sands talked about how and under what circumstances, UK gained sovereignty and arguments that it gave the international community. According to the lawyer, Ukraine also has a chance to prove its right to the integrity of the country, and the court should consider all claims.

Using the argument in court to protect human rights, Ukraine can easily prove it taking into consideration the undeniable fact of Russia’s cruelty to the Ukrainian people, like in defending “Russian speaking” – noted the Professor. – In addition, as defense you can use the fact of expropriation of the Ukrainian people property by Russian Federation. In this situation, not only the forced deprivation of property and looting are recorded, but also violations of international law in general”, – assured Philippe Sands. “Therefore, Ukraine has the possibility to defend its right, but it takes time and requires decisions of the court which together with the Government should treat it very seriously. If you make a wrong step – this will only complicate the situation”, – concluded the Professor.

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