“The ratification of the Rome Statute is crucial. First, it will demonstrate that we trust the justice we seek. Second, we will get the tools. We need not only to ratify but also to embed the ICC prosecutor’s investigation tools in the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine. It will also give us opportunities,” Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova told journalists after a meeting with new chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Karim Khan on October 18, an Ukrinform correspondent in The Hague reported.
The Prosecutor General noted that the meeting with Karim Khan was very frank and professional. It took place behind closed doors. In particular, the parties discussed continuous effective cooperation and 24 communications over war crimes and crimes against humanity in the occupied Crimea and Donbas.
In December 2020, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court endorsed the completion of the preliminary examination of the events in Ukraine related to the international armed conflict in Donbas and Crimea. Completion of the preliminary examination means that the crimes committed in Crimea and Donbas can be fully investigated. The decision to open a full-fledged investigation into the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity amid the armed conflict is to be made by the Judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber of the Court.
The International Criminal Court was established on the basis of the Rome Statute.
On January 20, 2000, Ukraine signed the Rome Statute of the ICC but did not ratify it. Although Ukraine is not a member state of the Statute, it had the right to apply to the ICC as the Statute signatory.
At the same time, Russia withdrew its signature from the Rome Statute. However, this does not prevent Russian citizens from being prosecuted for crimes committed in the territory of Ukraine.