Britain Backs ICC In Ukraine War Crimes Inquiry

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab stated that Britain is backing the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to investigate allegations of war crimes in Ukraine performed by Russia. He advocates for extra support from member countries towards the investigation, which comes to fruition in their own plans of creating a financial support and technical assistance package.

On March 2nd, the U.K. led efforts with 38 other ICC countries to start the investigation on Russian war crimes in the Ukraine. The U.K. is a founding member of the ICC and Deputy Prime Minister Raab stated that “the critical task now is to preserve properly all evidence of war crimes.” ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan QC is in charge of moving the investigation forward. He stated to the ICC in an interview this past week that he wants to “proceed with an opening as rapidly as possible,” as the situation in Ukraine worsens daily. Due to the state party referral of all countries, they are able to move forward without the need of judicial approval. According to the AP, the ICC is able to issue arrest warrants and open full cases, but they do not have a police entity to detain suspects. The court relies on international cooperation with their own forces to prosecute.

Since the Ukraine is not a State Party to the ICC, they are unable to refer themselves for investigation, but they have legally accepted the Court’s jurisdiction in several cases. Those cases start back in 2014, since the first declaration by the Ukrainian Government. While there was no full investigation, they have been collecting data on alleged war crimes ever since. Moving forward, Prosecutor Khan has tasked his team with exploring all modes of collecting evidence against Russia. He also calls upon other state parties, and the international community to provide financial support and volunteers to fully investigate the situation.

It is imperative that other countries such as the U.K., and those who are part of the ICC, to advocate for financial compensation and humanitarian aid. International human rights are being violated by Russia and in investigating them to the full extent, the ICC can hold them accountable for their inhumane actions. While this may not prevent further violations, it reinforces the standard rights of Ukrainian citizens and sets an important precedent for all countries. In the upcoming days and weeks it will be crucial for Ukraine to get support of the ICC and the resources of other countries. We can closely observe leaders such as Deputy Prime Minister Raab to follow their initiatives in providing financial, social and humanitarian backing.