Ukraine Parliament calls on the ICC to investigate in Crimea and the East

The Ukrainian Parliament adopted a resolution on 4 February recognising the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) over international crimes committed in Ukraine since 20 February 2014. Our organisations welcome this declaration inviting the ICC to investigate and prosecute those responsible for international crimes, in particular in Crimea and the Donbass region.

"Considering the intensification of violence in the East of Ukraine and the lack of capacity of the national justice system to genuinely investigate and prosecute perpetrators of crimes in these regions, this committment by Ukrainian authorities in favour of international justice and accountability could have a deterrent effect on the current conflict" , said Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.

"The Ukrainian executive should now confirm the recognition of the ICC jurisdiction over international crimes committed in Ukraine since February 2014, with no limitation of time, so that victims find adequate access to justice and redress. We hope this is an additional sign confirming the authorities’ will to swiftly take the needed legislative measures to ratify the ICC Statute" , said Oleksandra Matviychuk, Director of CCL.

On 4 February, no less than 271 Parliamentarians voted in favour of this declaration which, pursuing to Article 12(3) of the ICC Statute, enables the ICC to investigate and prosecute those responsible for international crimes committed on Ukrainian territory, whatever their nationality - may they be Russian, pro-Russian fighters or others - in case of lack of capacity or willingness of national authorities to do so. It is now up to the Ukrainian executive to make the formal declaration, thus confirming the Parliament resolution, in order for the ICC to have jurisdiction.

In collaboration with CCL, FIDH undertook an advocacy mission in Kiev from 19 to 23 January 2015 calling upon Ukrainian authorities, including the Presidency and Members of Parliament, to take the necessary concrete steps to ratify the ICC Statute and extend the jurisdiction of the ICC to international crimes committed since February 2014. In March 2014, Ukraine had recognised the ICC jurisdiction over international crimes committed during the Maidan events between November 2013 and February 2014, on which the ICC Office of the Prosecutor is currently undertaking a preliminary examination.

See FIDH-CCL press release in Ukrainian.

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