MP Zalishchuk: Public representatives should develop new strategy for Rome Statute ratification

Дата: 02 June 2016
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Supporters of the International Criminal Court (ICC) should develop a new strategy to achieve ratification of the Rome Statute, which will allow Ukraine to become a member of the court.

This was stated by Svitlana Zalishchuk, the MP from the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko faction, the Human Rights Information Centre correspondent reports.

June 2, the Parliament will decide whether to pass the constitutional changes related to judiciary, which delay the ratification of the Rome Statute for three years. Anyway, whether the MPs will vote for these changes or not, we have to talk about strategy and how to find a political will to ratify the Rome Statute,” she said.

If we really want to see Putin in The Hague, we should become a full member of the ICC with the possibility to influence the appointment of ICC staff, approve amendments to the Rome Statute, pay attention to certain issues which are dealt with in the International Criminal Court,” Svitlana Zalishchuk explained.

She reminded of the Kampala amendments which may come into force in 2017 and will extend the jurisdiction of the ICC on the crimes of aggression.

The entry into force of the Kampala amendments gives us the opportunity and the tools to wait for justice, including the prosecution of not only people, but the states also. We should develop a strategy to raise this issue,” the MP said.

Svitlana Zalishchuk believes that the Rome Statute has not yet been ratified because of fears and myths related to the court and the lack of a clear strategy of the President of Ukraine, the National Security and Defence Council and the Parliament to achieve the justice at the international level.

There are fears that the ICC will get interested in our servicemen, generals, the Commander-in-Chief. But it is a myth, as the adopted declaration enables any party to appeal to the ICC,” she said.

MP from the Samopomich Party faction Hanna Hopko regrets that a greater part of the advocacy campaign is dedicated to dispelling a myth.

We’ve seen a lot of different manipulations surrounding the ratification of the Rome Statute. Therefore, all the efforts of the advocacy campaign were directed at conveying truthful information of why Ukraine needs to ratify the Rome Statute for the justice could be administered,” Hanna Hopko said.

She believes that the civil society will succeed in achieving the ratification of the document as there is a demand for justice.

To ratify the Rome Statute is our obligation to those who died and the duty to future generations,” she summed up.

As a reminder, the provision postponing ratification of the Rome Statute for three years appeared in the constitutional amendments related to judiciary at the initiative of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.

Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Oleksiy Filatov justified this move saying that no countries had joined the ICC during the armed conflict and that there is a need to protect Ukrainian soldiers from the risks and consequences of such membership.

However, the Ukrainian human rights activists reject this argument, explaining that the Parliament has already recognized the jurisdiction of the court over further developments in Ukraine.

According to the President of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Mykola Hnatovsky, Ukraine is losing a number of rights arising from membership in the ICC by not ratifying the Statute. Thus, for example, Ukrainians cannot be judges or work in the office of the prosecutor.

The PACE also called for immediate ratification of the Rome Statute in April.  Co-President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament Rebecca Harms said that Ukraine’s membership in the International Criminal Court would be positive for the image of the state.

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