Eurojust: One Year of Judicial Support for Ukraine
One year after the start of the war in Ukraine, Eurojust and its partners looked back on a range of measures and actions to support the judicial response to alleged core international crimes. In addition to the review, Eurojust updated about the following:
On 23 February 2023, the newly established Core International Crimes Evidence Database (CICED) began operation. CICED is a tailor-made, centralised judicial database set up by Eurojust to preserve, store, and analyse evidence of core international crimes in a secure mode. With the help of the CICED, systematic actions behind core international crimes shall be made identifiable and, in this way, help advance national and international investigations, thereby ensuring that efforts are not duplicated. The CICED consists of three components: a safe digital data transmission method, secure data storage, and advanced analysis tools. The database also contains a register of information on who submitted the evidence as well as the event and type of crime being referred to. Evidence can only be submitted by competent national authorities from EU Member States and countries with Liaison Prosecutors at Eurojust. The submission of evidence is voluntary, and it is not shared without the permission of the submitting authority. A factsheet on the CICED is available here.
In addition, Eurojust is in the process of setting up a new International Centre for Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA). The aim of the centre will be 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 become an integral part of the existing support structure for the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on Ukraine at Eurojust (see below), with Eurojust providing legal, operational, and logistic support. The centre was announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Zelensky on 2 February 2023. It was made official at the United for Justice Conference that took place on 3-5 March 2023 in Ukraine.
At the conference, the ICPA officially joined the JIT agreement on alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine that was signed on 25 March 2022 by Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine. Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, and Romania as well as the ICC have since joined (→eucrim news of 21 June 2022). In support of this JIT, Eurojust provided legal, logistical, financial, and analytical support and hosted 14 coordination meetings over the last 12 months. On 3 March 2023, the seven national authorities participating in the JIT also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United States Department of Justice. The MoU enhances coordination between the partner countries and the US authorities regarding investigations in connection with the war in Ukraine.
To keep track of Eurojust’s role in the judicial proceedings with regard to the war in Ukraine, a dedicated webpage includes the latest developments, press releases, tweets, and videos. The webpage can be found here.