International Criminal Court investigation into crimes committed in Ukraine (23 Mar. 2022)


On 2 March 2022 the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor opened an investigation into crimes committed in Ukraine. The decision was taken after 41 States, including the 27 European Union Member States, asked for the opening of the investigation by the Court’s Prosecutor to be speeded up.

On this basis, the Prosecutor asked the States to lend him financial and human assistance to ensure the proper conduct of the investigation.

France reiterates its firm condemnation of Russia’s unjustifiable, illegal and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine. Those responsible for the atrocities committed in the context of this aggression must be prosecuted as part of the essential fight against impunity.

Consequently, France, which staunchly supports the essential work carried out by the ICC, will make judges, investigators and experts available to the Prosecutor to allow him to conduct his investigation under the best conditions. It will also provide the Court, via the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ budget, with exceptional financial support of €500,000. This financial assistance may subsequently be increased if need be. As a reminder, France is already the third-largest contributor to the ICC’s budget.

In this context, the Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice will visit The Hague (Netherlands) on 24 March 2022 as representative of the French presidency of the Council of the European Union (FPEU), to take part in a meeting of justice ministers from States supporting the Prosecutor’s action. At the meeting, M. Éric Dupond-Moretti will encourage the States taking part in it to step up their support for the ICC.

Mr Ladislav Hamran, President of the European Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust), will also take part in the meeting today, 24 March. Indeed, as the 4 March 2022 Council of Justice Ministers of the European Union Member States asked it to do, Eurojust may play a major role in coordinating national courts’ investigations into allegations of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Ukraine and may provide decisive assistance to evidence-gathering by the ICC Prosecutor.