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International lawyer group condemns Russian invasion
Ukrainians protest in Dublin Pic: RollingNews.ie

25 Feb 2022 / global news Print

Lawyer bodies united in condemning invasion

President of the Law Society Michelle Ní Longáin has issued a statement on the situation in Ukraine.

“The Law Society of Ireland condemns the actions taken by Russia against Ukraine," she said this afternoon.

"This use of threat and force is a clear violation of international law by which all UN member states abide. The rule of law, protection of human rights and principles of democracy must be upheld. We support a swift and lawful end to this conflict.

"Further, the Law Society endorses the statement regarding Ukraine made today by the President of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) and former President of the Law Society, James MacGuill,” the Law Society President added.

The CCBE has joined EU institutions in their demand that Russia immediately ceases its illegal invasion of Ukraine.

"All States must respect the fundamental obligations, values, principles and freedoms set out in the Charter of the United Nations, the Statute of the Council of Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights, Budapest Memoranda on Security Assurances, and other general principles of public international law, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court," the CCBE said this afternoon.

Watershed moment

Meanwhile, the International Bar Association (IBA) has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with the organisation’s president describing the action as “a watershed moment”.

Sternford Moyo stated that Russian president Vladimir Putin’s move “indisputably violates” international law.

The association’s executive director Mark Ellis said that international law was clear and absolute, and that a state was prohibited from the use or threat of force against another state.

UBA calls for sanctions

"There are only two main exceptions to this principle: the state is acting in self-defence, or acting pursuant to a United Nations Security Council resolution.

“Neither of these two exceptions is applicable to Russia’s actions against Ukraine,” he added.

The Ukrainian Bar Association (UBA) called on the international community to provide the country with “lethal weapons and armour”, and to impose sanctions against Russia in areas that were critical to its economic and military sectors.

It also called for Russia to be disconnected from the SWIFT system that connects banks and other financial institutions across the world.

'Gravely concerned'

President of the Law Society of England and Wales, I Stephanie Boyce, has also issued a statement condemning Russian hostility against Ukraine in Eastern Europe, as well as offering the Law Society’s support to its members in the region.

Boyce said: “We are gravely concerned by the news from Ukraine. A clear principle of international law is that a state is prohibited from the use or threat of force against another state. We hope for a swift end to hostilities and our thoughts are with all those affected.

“We are supporting and will continue to support our members in the region,” she said.

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