Very shortly after the Russian military invasion of Ukraine on the 24th of February this year, students and academic staff set out to organise a get-together to reflect on the awful outbreak of the war. The resulting symposium entitled War in Ukraine: Politics, Law & Identity – organised by the department of Transnational Legal Studies and the VU Interdisciplinary Centre of European Studies – took place on 8 March in an overcrowded room at the Vrije Universiteit and more than 60 virtual attendees. In the title, ‘war’ was meant to avoid the euphemisms that were still in fashion at that time.
The words ‘politics’ and ‘law’ were intended to acknowledge the fundamental way in which those social domains are mutually constitutive. The word ‘identity’ to stimulate thinking about the ways in which the war fosters and mobilises old and new identities.
Three of the contributions to the symposium now appear here as commentaries. Davor Petrić discusses the possibilities of EU enlargement; Victoria Kerr and Sofia Stolk draw out the potential of international accountability mechanisms like the ICC; and Renske Vos details the case brought by Ukraine against Russia currently pending before the ICJ. These introductions are introduced by a preface by Dion Kramer.