19:24 07.07.2023

Intl courts may try war crime cases against individuals who unleashed war in Ukraine, issued orders – Supreme Court

3 min read

The Supreme Court of Ukraine admits the possibility that international courts could try criminal cases on Russia's war crimes directly related to the individuals who had unleashed the war and issued criminal orders, however, the national courts of Ukraine will consider the bulk of war crimes committed by Russia.

"Speaking about war crimes and aggression-related crimes – crimes against peace, human security and international law and order – more than 1,150 criminal cases have been submitted for consideration to local courts. These are [the cases on] the recognition of Russia's armed aggression as lawful – more than 850 criminal proceedings, the distribution of communist and Nazi symbols – more than 160 criminal proceedings," Chairman of the Cassation Criminal Court within the Supreme Court Oleksandr Marchuk told a press conference in Kyiv on Friday.

As for the article of the Criminal Code on violation of the laws and customs of war, according to Marchuk, there are constant discussions around this category of cases, including the study of the experience and practice of foreign partners so that Ukrainian courts can correctly document such types of crimes.

He also said that 130 criminal cases were sent to courts under Article 438 of the Criminal Code (violation of the laws and customs of war), and 38 of them have already been considered.

"The court of first instance is considering one criminal proceeding on ecocide. As for the genocide, two criminal proceedings were submitted to court for consideration," Marchuk said.

Also, according to him, there are three criminal cases in Ukrainian courts under the article on planning, preparing and waging a war of aggression (Article 437 of the Criminal Code).

The court chairman said that one of the cases on the preparation and waging of the war of aggression was transferred to the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court.

"We are waiting for a court ruling to form a legal opinion so that the courts can apply the relevant rule of law," Marchuk said.

Answering the question of the Interfax-Ukraine News Agency regarding the prospects for consideration of some category of war crimes, in particular, genocide and the crime of aggression, in international courts, Marchuk stressed that this category of cases is being considered and will be considered by national courts.

"The bulk of this category of cases will be considered by the national courts. Perhaps, in relation to some individual – those who unleashed the war, gave instructions – the cases will be considered by international courts," he said.