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Agreement on creating International Centre for Prosecution of Crimes of Aggression of Russia to be signed in Lviv

Saturday, 4 March 2023, 12:51

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, has announced the creation of the International Centre for the Prosecution of Crimes of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA) and stated that Russia has to be held accountable. 

Source: statement on the European Commission website, cited by European Pravda

Quote from the statement: "The European Union is supportive of the role of the International Criminal Court. We also believe that there needs to be a dedicated tribunal to prosecute Russia's crime of aggression. And I am proud that, at this conference, as a first step you will sign the agreement to set up the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression in The Hague."


Details: The United for Justice conference is currently being held in Lviv where participants discuss mechanisms of holding Russia accountable for crimes committed in Ukraine. 

Quote from the statement: "Russia must be held accountable for these horrific crimes. Putin must be held accountable. We must do everything in our power to bring the perpetrators to justice. The European Union will continue to work, with our partners, to ensure that Russia pays."

More details: The amended agreement of the existing Joint Investigation Team at Eurojust is being signed at the conference on accountability in order to facilitate the set up of the ICPA within its structure.

A Joint Investigation Team has been set up with the support of Eurojust to collect evidence and investigate core international crimes committed in Ukraine. The Joint Investigation Team consists of the International Criminal Court, Ukraine, and Lithuania, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Romania.

The Eurojust Regulation was amended to give the Agency the legal possibility to securely preserve, store and analyse evidence on core international crimes. The judicial database was launched in February 2023.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is competent to prosecute the most serious international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. It is also competent to prosecute the crime of aggression but only in relation to those countries that have accepted its jurisdiction in relation to this crime. The crime of aggression is a crime committee by the highest political and military leadership. 

Given that Russia does not accept the jurisdiction of the ICC, and therefore the ICC cannot exercise this competency in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine. To close this gap, in November 2022 the European Commission presented different options to Member States to make sure that Russian individuals are held accountable for the atrocities committed in Ukraine.

Background: It was reported earlier that Ukraine and its allies had developed three models of establishing and launching the special tribunal for prosecuting the Russian crime of aggression.

The first model to be considered was the creation of a special tribunal based on Ukraine's treaty with the UN, which approves the corresponding resolution of the UN General Assembly.

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