July 17 is World International Justice Day, also known as International Criminal Justice Day or International Justice Day. It is an international day celebrated around the world as part of efforts to recognize the new system of international criminal justice.
On July 17, 1998, the Rome Statute was concluded - the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is located in the city of The Hague - the first ever permanent body of international justice, which has jurisdiction directly on the basis of international law to bring relevant persons to criminal responsibility for the most serious crimes.
The ICC is a court of last resort, and only investigates and prosecutes the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. The ICC can only investigate and prosecute crimes committed in countries that have ratified the Rome Statute, or that have accepted the ICC's jurisdiction ad hoc.
Ukraine is a signatory state of the Rome Statute, but has not yet ratified it. However, Ukraine has accepted the ICC's jurisdiction ad hoc for crimes committed on its territory since February 24, 2014, the date of Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea.
The ICC has opened an investigation into the situation in Ukraine, and is currently collecting evidence of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both Russian and Ukrainian forces. The ICC has also issued arrest warrants for several high-level Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, for their alleged involvement in these crimes.
The ICC plays a vital role in promoting international justice and holding perpetrators of the most serious crimes to account. It is especially important in countries like Ukraine, where the domestic justice system is unable or unwilling to prosecute these crimes.
The ICC is not without its challenges. It is a relatively new institution, and it has limited resources. It is also dependent on the cooperation of state parties in order to carry out its investigations and prosecutions. However, the ICC has made significant progress in recent years, and it is playing an increasingly important role in the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes.
The Importance of International Justice in Ukraine
The need for international justice in Ukraine is felt very much today. For the eighth year in a row, Ukraine has suffered from Russian aggression, which on February 24, 2022 turned into a full-scale war. Hundreds of international crimes recorded since the beginning of the Russian invasion clearly require effective measures to be taken to investigate them and bring the perpetrators to justice not only at the national level, but also at the highest international level.
The ICC is the only international court that has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. It is also the only court that can investigate and prosecute these crimes committed by nationals of states that have not ratified the Rome Statute, such as Russia.
The ICC's investigation into the situation in Ukraine is an important step towards ensuring accountability for the most serious crimes committed in the country. The ICC's findings and prosecutions will help to deter future crimes and promote the rule of law in Ukraine and around the world.
The International Criminal Court plays a vital role in promoting international justice and holding perpetrators of the most serious crimes to account. It is especially important in countries like Ukraine, where the domestic justice system is unable or unwilling to prosecute these crimes.
On World International Justice Day, we should recommit ourselves to supporting the ICC and its important work. We should also urge all states to ratify the Rome Statute and to cooperate with the ICC in its investigations and prosecutions.