On Monday, 18 October 2021, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or the “Court”), Mr Karim A.A. Khan QC, and his team met with a high-level delegation from Ukraine at the Seat of the Court led by the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, H.E. Mrs Iryna Venediktova.
The visit provided a valuable opportunity to engage with the Ukrainian authorities in productive discussions, including on the topics of cooperation and complementarity.
The Prosecutor General and her team provided updates regarding the criminal justice system and the legal framework in Ukraine, as well as an overview of her office’s efforts to achieve accountability for conflict-related crimes. Building on the close collaboration between the ICC Office of the Prosecutor and the Ukrainian authorities during the preliminary examination phase concerning this Situation, Mrs Venediktova underscored the Ukrainian authorities’ readiness to continue to cooperate with the Prosecutor’s Office in the framework of the Rome Statute.
During the meeting, the Prosecutor commended the commitment and cooperation by the Ukrainian authorities, and welcomed the constructive and collaborative exchange with the Prosecutor General and her team. He thanked the Prosecutor General for her assurances of continued collaboration and recalled the importance he attaches to cooperation with Ukraine and all parties to the conflict in the impartial and independent exercise of the Office’s mandate.
The Prosecutor stressed the importance of promoting accountability with a view to determining how justice may best be served under the shared framework of complementary domestic and international action.
On 11 December 2020, the Office announced the conclusion of the preliminary examination in the Situation in Ukraine, conveying its findings that the statutory criteria under the Rome Statute for opening investigations into the Situation are met. Owing to constraints on the Office’s operational capacity in light of overextended resources against growing demands on the work of the Office, the former Prosecutor had indicated that strategic and operational decisions would need to be taken, in the future, on the prioritisation of the Office’s workload. The Office’s work in the Situation continues in accordance with statutory duties under the Statute as regards to ensuring the integrity of future investigations pending a request to seek authorisation to proceed to an investigation.
The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions of the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. Since 2003, the Office has been conducting investigations in multiple situations within the ICC’s jurisdiction, namely in Uganda; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; the Central African Republic (two distinct situations); Kenya; Libya; Côte d’Ivoire; Mali; Georgia, Burundi; Bangladesh/Myanmar, Afghanistan (pending judicial authorization to resume investigation following initial article 18 deferral request) Palestine and the Philippines. The Office is also currently conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Bolivia; Guinea; Venezuela I and Venezuela II; and has completed its preliminary examinations of the situations in Ukraine and Nigeria, which are pending requests to seek authorisation to proceed to investigation.