ICC’s opportunity to investigate the crime of aggression in Ukraine

Together with the ICJ we have asked Norwegian authorities to look into investigating the international core crimes of the Ukraine situation.

There is an ongoing debate regarding how Russian leader’s crime of aggression in Ukraine can be investigated when ICC’s jurisdiction is limited to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. A proposal has been made to create an ad hoc tribunal or a hybrid court designated to process this crime.

The letter points to the fact that even though the ICC lacks jurisdiction on the crime of aggression in Ukraine, the main prosecutor can still take the crime of aggression into consideration in the investigation and the prosecution of other crimes being committed by Russian forces.

The letter refers to a policy document by Terje Einarsen and jurist Joseph Rikhof, who explain this strategy. According to the authors should “this modification of the scope of investigation before the ICC … be explicitly acknowledged by the ICC Prosecutor, the sooner the better. … there is arguably not much investigative activity required in order to establish that a crime of aggression has already been committed by key members of the Russian leadership.”

The letter asks Norway to advocate that the proposed strategy is considered by ICC’s main prosecutor – in full respect of his independence.

Read the letter here.