International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression Against Ukraine opened in The Hague
The International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression Against Ukraine (ICPA) in The Hague will support the preparation of criminal cases of Russian military aggression against Ukraine by securing crucial evidence and facilitating the case-building process at an early stage.
During the launch event on July 3, 2023, the European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders stated that “with the set-up of the ICPA, the European Union reiterates its commitment to ensuring full accountability for the international crimes committed during Russia’s war against Ukraine, including the crime of aggression”. Reynders also added that the set-up of the ICPA is a clear signal to the world that the prohibition of the use of force continues to be the foundation of the rule-based international order and that those who violate it will be held accountable.
The ICPA is a unique judicial hub embedded in Eurojust in The Hague to support national investigations into the crime of Russian aggression related to the war against Ukraine. It features prosecutors from Ukraine, the European Union, the United States, and the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICPA will gather evidence that will be used later for the trial at the special tribunal.
Andrii Kostin, Prosecutor General of Ukraine, emphasized the importance of establishing the International Center in the process of bringing Russia to justice.
“Out of the true darkness and suffering that we have seen across Ukraine, we have also seen light emerge in the building of new partnerships towards accountability. I am clear in my message today that we remain committed to further strengthening the foundations for cooperation we have built with Eurojust and national authorities over the last year through the Joint Investigative Team,” he commented.
As previously reported, some criminal proceedings have already been initiated against Russian representatives in The Hague. On March 17, 2023, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mariia Lvova-Belova, the Russian official allegedly overseeing the forced deportations of Ukrainian children to Russia. In its statement, the ICC wrote that “there are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Putin bears individual criminal responsibility” as the leader of Russia for the crimes committed against Ukrainian children.