One of the most prominent debates and discussions going on in the legal world currently is the shooting down of the MH17. The governments of countries as well as the UN are entering into constant discussions in order to bring the perpetrators in public eye and do them justice. The most likely scenario and argument that is being brought forth is that the unfortunate event was the consequence of a mistake made by the pro-Russian Ukrainian rebels who shot down the aircraft. But, there is still lack of clarity and this is mainly due to lack of proper evidence. More evidences about responsibility have to be gathered; and currently pending investigation is leading to difficulty in accountability of international law.
A crime under the law
Law protectors and enforcers are of the view that the entire incident represents a crime that has taken under the international law. According to the international law, a conflict between the rebel forces of Ukraine as well as those of the state can lead to an armed conflict of a bigger nature. This will lead to the application of international laws of war which are generally declared in case of internal conflicts. One of the main tenets of the international humanitarian law is the distinction between combatants and civilians. It is completely prohibited to target civilians as an object of attack in conflict and this tenet is found under treaty law. The International Committee of Red Cross, prohibits targeting innocent civilians and considers it an international legal norm, to be followed by all countries.
Steps taken by the ICRC
According to international jurisprudence and state practice, the ICRC has confirmed that there exists a customary international norm, where it has been notified to take precautions in order to protect civilians an also damage to property, in such turbulent times. Parties, who are in a conflict, must do everything feasible to very that the targets and the damages made are actually military objectives. Thus, it becomes clear that the perpetrators of the MH17 attack, have violated the customary international law as well as the treaty law. They have also not taken any precautions to make the mission purely military in nature. Though, a lot of evidences need to be gathered before holding them completely accountable for all these actions. A number of actions for legal recourse have been raised in open public platform discussions held lately.