The main responsibility for prosecuting the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes lies with States. This obligation stems from international treaties and international customary law. Effective prosecution must therefore be ensured by taking measures at national level and by enhancing international cooperation.
The Genocide Network was established to ensure close cooperation between national authorities in investigating and prosecuting the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Its first meeting was held in November 2004, although the Network Secretariat was not established until 2011. The Genocide Network is currently the only body in the European Union with the mandate to support the efforts of Member States and facilitate coordination of their activities in the fight against impunity for the perpetrators of core international crimes, and therefore has a pivotal role in ensuring the European Union’s commitment to fighting impunity within its area and beyond.
The Genocide Network promotes the effective investigation and prosecution of core international crimes at national level by means of:
- Exchanging information on criminal investigations and prosecutions of persons suspected of having committed or participated in the commission of core in-ternational crimes
- Facilitating cooperation and assistance between the law enforcement and judicial authorities of Member States’
- Exchanging best practice, experience and methods relating to the investigation and prosecution of relevant crimes
- Raising awareness of these crimes and the commitment of the European Union to ending the impunity of perpetrators of core international crimes.