27 April 2022 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


International Criminal Court joins team probing alleged war crimes in Ukraine
EuroNews, 26 Apr 2022

The International Criminal Court (ICC) will take part in the joint team investigating allegations of war crimes in Ukraine following the Russian invasion, the European Union's agency for criminal justice cooperation said on Monday. ICC prosecutor Karim Khan and the Prosecutors General from Lithuania, Poland and and Ukraine signed an agreement for the international war crimes tribunal's first-ever participation in an investigative team, Eurojust said. 


UN General Assembly mandates meeting in wake of any Security Council veto
UN News, 26 Apr 2022

China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States have the power to veto Security Council resolutions, enshrined in the UN Charter - a right accorded to them because of their key roles in establishing the United Nations. Following the resolution adopted by consensus, any such use will now trigger a General Assembly meeting, where all UN members can scrutinize and comment on the veto. The resolution comes in the wake of Russia's use of the veto in the Council, the day after it invaded Ukraine, calling for its unconditional withdrawal from the country. 


Russian war crimes in Ukraine: Commission proposes to reinforce the mandate of Eurojust to collect and preserve evidence of war crimes
European Commission, 25 Apr 2022

Today, the Commission has proposed to amend the Eurojust Regulation to give the Agency the legal possibility to collect, preserve and share evidence on war crimes. Due to the ongoing conflict, it is difficult to store and preserve evidence securely in Ukraine. To ensure accountability for the crimes committed in Ukraine, it is crucial to ensure safe storage of evidence outside Ukraine as well as to support the investigations and prosecutions by various European and international judicial authorities. Since March, Eurojust has been supporting an EU joint investigation team looking into the possible war crimes committed in Ukraine. While Eurojust has practical experience on international crimes, the existing Regulation did not envisage a situation of this scale and crimes of this extent, requiring an update in Eurojust's legal base.


CAR: ‘Historic’ trial kicks off, but not without challenges
Al Jazeera, 25 Apr 2022

After seven years of waiting, the Special Criminal Court of the Central African Republic (CAR) is finally set to open its first trial in what could be a key moment in fostering accountability in a country scarred by decades of violence. The court, known by its French acronym CPS, was set up in the capital Bangui to prosecute war crimes, genocide and other crimes against humanity committed in the country since 2003.


Venezuela: Maduro Government Seeks to Delay ICC Investigation
Human Rights Watch, 22 Apr 2022

In light of the Venezuelan authorities’ attempt to obstruct accountability for alleged crimes against humanity, the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor’s signal that he intends to move forward with his investigation sends an important message to victims, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 15, 2022, Venezuela asked the ICC prosecutor, Karim Khan, to defer his office’s investigation into possible crimes against humanity, alleging that domestic authorities were already investigating these crimes. On April 20, Khan notified a panel of ICC judges of Venezuela’s request. In the same filing, he indicated that his office would soon ask the judges to reject the request. The investigation is on hold until the judges rule on Khan’s forthcoming request.