Raab gathers ministers from across the world to support ICC Russian war crimes investigation

Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab, Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

The Deputy Prime Minister has gathered ministers from across the world to The Hague today (24 March 2022) to formulate an international package of support for International Criminal Court (ICC).

The UK will offer the International Criminal Court military, policing and financial support as part of the global response to Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

The substantial assistance will be offered during a meeting of justice and foreign affairs ministers chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, Dominic Raab, at The Hague.

An additional £1 million in funding will be provided, and soldiers with military expertise will be assigned to the ICC to help uncover evidence of war crimes.

The War Crimes Team within the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command will be mobilised to assist the investigation and are directly engaged with the ICC.

The Deputy Prime Minister will continue his work with international partners at the meeting in The Hague to support the investigation, with Ukrainian Justice Minister, Denys Maliuska, in attendance.

Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab, said:

Today, the UK is uniting a coalition of international partners to provide the funding and law enforcement support to reinforce the ICC’s investigation into potential war crimes in Ukraine.

President Putin and his commanders should know that they will be held to account for their actions, and risk ending up spending the rest of their days behind bars.

The financial support has been provided by the Foreign Office’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund to ensure – among other things – the ICC has the technology it needs to hold and process the massive volume of evidence it is gathering.

Foreign Office Minister of State, James Cleverly, said:

The UK led the way in calling for an investigation into Russian war crimes earlier this month – the largest referral in the history of the International Criminal Court.

It is vital that the ICC is able to carry out that investigation and that’s why the UK will provide military, policing and financial support to help uncover evidence of such crimes, and ultimately seek justice.

Police will provide victims with relevant support and officers are engaging with potential witnesses to assist the war crimes investigation and seeking to identify further witnesses as Ukrainians arrive seeking refuge in the UK.

Conversations are ongoing with legal services professional bodies to scope how top-class UK barristers and lawyers can be put at the service of the ICC’s investigations. Barristers from the UK have played an integral part in war crimes prosecutions ever since Hartley Shawcross led the British prosecution at Nuremburg.

This is the latest in a series of efforts from the UK to provide Ukraine with economic, diplomatic, humanitarian and defensive support alongside lethal aid. It follows a government clampdown on the use of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) – a common tool used by wealthy oligarchs seeking to silence those who shine a light on their wrongdoing.

The UK will continue to support the ICC’s work and has set up the UK Government taskforce for war crimes which includes the Attorney General, ministers from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Ministry of Defence and Home Office, as well as senior officials from these departments and representatives from the War Crimes Team within the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command  and Crown Prosecution Service.

Last week the Deputy Prime Minister met with the President of the ICC, its Registrar and its Chief Prosecutor, all of whom stressed the need for international co-operation to help prosecute Putin and his commanders.

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