Ukraine War, December 27, 2022 (II): Gordon Brown calls for trial in absentia of Putin and accomplices for crime of aggression; plans for special tribunal

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To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, and you will see a list in chronological order.

To understand the broad context within which current developments in Ukraine should be considered,see

“Ukraine War, October 26, 2022: The context for analysis of current developments; The “dirty bomb” as a Russian propaganda distraction from current war crimes,” The Trenchant Observer, October 26, 2022.


1) Gordon Brown, “Set up a tribunal now to investigate Russian aggression,” The Times, December 28, 2022 (12:01 am);

Gordon Brown is former prime minister of the United Kingdom


Sergey Lavrov should not be free to travel outside Russia and its most dependent allies.

He should be tried in absentia for the international crime of aggression and for other war crimes for which he is either directly responsible or is an accomplice. Certainly he is guilty of conspiracy to commit tge crime of aggression.

And if the lapdog us indicted for the crime of aggression, so too should be his master, Vladimir Putin.

There is no “head of state” immunity that will protect Putin, as Manuel Noruega and Slobodan Milošević could readily attest, if they were here to do so,

Nor is there any need to forego indictment of Putin or Lavrov in the delusional belief that they will one day negotiate a ceasefire and peace settlement that is acceptable to Ukraine and the international community of states.

Anyone who is arguing for negotiations with Vladimir Putin at this point is either hopelessy naive and uninformed about what has occurred in Ukraine in the last 10 months, or simply shilling for Putin and the Russian war criminals.

It’s ime to get real. It’s time to prosecute Putin in absentia for tge crime of aggression and other war crimes. Gordon Brown make the case in The Times for proceeding on the path to ondict Putin for the crime of aggression.

What possible argument could their be for further delay?

If not now, when?

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About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.