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Eurojust one year after start of war in Ukraine

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Start of operations of Core International Crimes Evidence Database and new International Centre for Prosecution of the crime of Aggression to be based at Agency

The Hague, 23 February 2023

Almost one year after the start of the war in Ukraine, Eurojust has taken crucial steps in support of the judicial response to alleged core international crimes. An important milestone is the start of operations of the Core International Crimes Evidence Database (CICED). A new International Centre for Prosecution of the crime of Aggression (ICPA) will also be based at Eurojust.

With CICED, the Agency has introduced a tailor-made judicial database to preserve, store and analyse evidence of core international crimes in a secure mode. Technical solutions for the safe transmission and secure storage of evidence are now in place and an advanced analysis module will be added in the coming months.

CICED’s centralised approach will support national and international investigations by shedding light, not only on individual offences but also on the systemic actions behind them. CICED will be beneficial for the investigations into core international crimes allegedly committed in Ukraine, as well as other conflicts where these offences would occur.

In addition, Eurojust is in the process of setting up the ICPA. The main purpose of the ICPA is to support and enhance investigations into the crime of aggression by securing key evidence and facilitating case building at the earliest possible stage.

The centre will be part of the current support structure for the joint investigation tteam (JIT), which ensures an optimal alignment between the investigations into war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, and the crime of aggression. The prosecutors who will be part of the ICPA can be based at Eurojust on a semi-permanent basis, allowing for close coordination of their work in line with a joint prosecutorial strategy.

Eurojust President Mr Ladislav Hamran stated: ‘Nothing can make up for the terrible loss and destruction that the Ukrainian people have suffered since the start of this war. But core international crimes must always be accounted for, and Eurojust is doing whatever it can to help bring those responsible to justice. New initiatives, including the Core International Crimes Evidence Database and the International Centre for the Prosecution of the crime of Aggression, enable us to give concrete support to authorities working to get justice done for the victims of these horrendous crimes.’

Eurojust Vice-President and National Member for Lithuania, Ms Margarita Šniutytė-Daugėlienė, said: ‘The international legal community is incredibly determined to ensure accountability for the crimes committed in Ukraine. The wish to make justice prevail clearly transcends national, continental and organisational boundaries. Eurojust is proud to contribute to these efforts, by not only using the full potential of our existing support mechanisms but also introducing innovative solutions to safeguard core international crime evidence and enhance the investigation of the crime of aggression.’

Liaison Prosecutor for Ukraine at Eurojust, Ms Myroslava Krasnoborova, commented: ‘While the damage caused by the Russian invasion can never be undone, we can make sure that those responsible are brought to justice. Setting up the joint investigation team has been a real game-changer in the accountability efforts and Ukraine welcomes the support received from Eurojust so far. At the same time, it is our firm belief that impunity for the crime of aggression should never be accepted. Ukraine therefore strongly welcomes the decision to set up the ICPA at Eurojust, and hopes that this will accelerate the ongoing discussions about the eventual prosecution for this supreme international crime.’

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