Ukraine expands acceptance of ICC jurisdiction
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has announced that it received a declaration of the Rome Statute by Ukraine accepting the Court’s jurisdiction with respect to alleged crimes committed in its territory since February 20, 2014.
This is stated in the press release by the NGO “Coalition for the International Criminal Court,” released on September 8.
“The second article 12(3) of the declaration gives ICC prosecutor jurisdiction over any alleged grave crimes committed since 20 February 2014. Although Ukraine is not a member of the ICC, article 12(3) allows states that are not party to the Rome Statute to accept the jurisdiction of the Court. The ICC Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) is currently conducting a preliminary examination into events in Ukraine between 21 November 2013 and 22 February 2014 following Ukraine’s first article 12(3) declaration accepting ICC jurisdiction in April 2014,” reads the press release.
Kirsten Meersschaert, the Coalition’s regional coordinator for Europe release, notes that Ukraine’s decision to expand its acceptance of ICC jurisdiction is a clear signal of its commitment to accountability for grave crimes and an important step towards ending impunity.
“Ukraine has taken a crucial step towards ending violence and armed conflict in the east of the country. Victims now have an opportunity to access justice for heinous crimes they have suffered,” said Roman Romanov, human rights and justice program director International Renaissance Foundation, Ukraine.
Ukraine signed the Rome Statute on 20 January 2000, but due to a 2001 constitutional court ruling declaring the treaty incompatible with Ukraine’s constitution, the government has not ratified the Statute. Civil society has been calling on Ukraine to ratify the Statute for many years.