Supporting judicial authorities in the fight against core international crimes factsheet


The crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, known collectively as core international crimes, threaten the peace, security and well-being of our world. While today’s conflicts and atrocities largely take place outside EU borders, their impact is keenly felt within the Member States. Under international law, the primary responsibility to investigate and prosecute these heinous crimes falls on national authorities. The escalation of nearby conflicts in the European Union’s wider neighbourhood, combined with the influx of refugees to the Member States in recent years, has left States struggling to manage a growing number of challenging cross-border cases. Successful investigations are built on specialist knowledge and close coordination between national authorities, and often require the gathering of evidence scattered across different countries. Most cases require interactions with third States and international partners. Eurojust, the EU Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation, and the EU Network for investigation and prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes (‘the Genocide Network’) support national authorities in their investigations and prosecutions. Working out of Eurojust’s premises in The Hague, their role involves cooperating with practitioners in the field, as well as NGOs and international bodies, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC) or the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Syria (UN IIIM), to ensure best practice and serve as a central hub for information and knowledge-sharing during cases

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