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Ukraine accepts ICC jurisdiction over alleged crimes committed since 20 February 2014


Today, 8 September 2015, the Registrar of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Herman von Hebel, received a declaration lodged by Ukraine accepting the ICC's jurisdiction with respect to alleged crimes committed in its territory since 20 February 2014. The declaration was lodged under article 12(3) of the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the ICC, which enables a State not party to the Statute to accept the exercise of jurisdiction of the Court. The declaration was lodged by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, H.E. Mr. Pavlo Klimkin, during a meeting with the ICC First Vice-President, Judge Joyce Aluoch, and the ICC Registrar. The declaration highlights that "Ukraine will cooperate with the Court without delay or exception."

This is the second declaration under article 12(3) of the Statute lodged by Ukraine. On 17 April 2014, Ukraine lodged a declaration under the same article accepting the jurisdiction of the ICC over alleged crimes committed on its territory from 21 November 2013 to 22 February 2014.

The ICC may now exercise jurisdiction over possible crimes that might have been committed in the context of the situation since 20 February 2014. The provisions of Part 9 of the Statute relating to international cooperation and judicial assistance apply. The declaration will be transmitted to the ICC's Office of the Prosecutor for further consideration.

The acceptance of the ICC's jurisdiction does not automatically trigger an investigation. It is for the ICC Prosecutor to decide whether or not to request the judges' authorisation to open an investigation, if the Prosecutor considers that the information available to her establishes the existence of a reasonable basis to open an investigation. If an investigation is opened, it will also be for the ICC Prosecutor to decide, on the basis of the evidence collected, whether to ask the ICC judges to issue arrest warrants or summonses to appear for persons charged with the commission of crimes falling under the ICC's jurisdiction.

Declaration by Ukraine lodged under Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute, 8 September 2015.

Background: The ICC is an independent, permanent court that tries individuals accused of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. The ICC is based on a treaty, the Rome Statute, with currently 123 States Parties. A State may decide to ratify the Rome Statute but may also make a declaration under article 12-3 of the Statute declaring its acceptance of the Court's jurisdiction. The UN Security Council may also refer a situation in relation to any Member State of the United Nations.

For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: [email protected].

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