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International Criminal Court: Ukraine

Volume 717: debated on Tuesday 5 July 2022

10. What support his Department is providing to the International Criminal Court’s investigation into war crimes in Ukraine. (900904)

We have offered the International Criminal Court a comprehensive package of financial and technical support to ensure that leaders under President Putin and those in the field can be held to account for any war crimes in Ukraine.

The International Criminal Court celebrated its 20th anniversary last week, but it is striking that in that time the Court has managed only three war crime convictions. Does the Secretary of State agree that, if the Putin regime is to be held accountable, that will only happen with sustained international support and funding? Has he had discussions with international counterparts in Governments who are not members of the International Criminal Court to encourage them to join?

I thank the hon. Lady, and she is absolutely right that the Court can only do so much. It is not an overarching justice system with all the investigators, witness relocation schemes and enforcement powers that a domestic scheme or a domestic jurisdiction would have. We have provided financial support and a dedicated liaison officer from the Met, based in The Hague, to facilitate information co-operation. We have offered military analysis support and witness protection support. I have had discussions, and so has the Foreign Office, with other supportive states parties, including the US war crimes ambassador, about how they can support the ICC in ensuring that there is accountability for war crimes in Ukraine.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the decision of Russia and its proxies to place on trial four British nationals—three of whom are serving members of the Ukrainian armed forces, and the other is a civilian—and subject them to a kangaroo court, sentencing two of them to death, amounts to a war crime? What support will he give to the Ukrainian authorities, specific to these cases, to help them amass the evidence they will need in due course to bring all those concerned to justice?

My right hon. Friend is absolutely right: this is another unlawful act, taking Russia further and further into pariah status. We have said that clearly, and our allies have too. On Ukraine, as well as the support that we are providing to the ICC, I have had meetings with the Ukrainian Minister of Justice and the Ukrainian Prosecutor General, to ensure that they have all the support that we can practically provide in relation to the domestic investigations they are conducting.