Eurojust and the war in Ukraine

Five areas of support to justice for Ukraine: support to investigations; collection, preservation and analysis of evidence; practical guidance; training for judicial practitioners; support to EU Freeze and Seize Task Force
Eurojust support to justice for Ukraine

Since the outbreak of the war, Eurojust has been at the forefront of supporting accountability for Russian crimes, based on its 20 years’ experience of working with national prosecutors on cross-border cases.

Just six days following the start of the war, Eurojust supported the setting up of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that now consists of Ukraine, six EU Member States, the International Criminal Court and Europol.

Recognising the specific evidentiary challenges related to this type of investigations, a Core International Crimes Evidence Database (CICED) was established, based on an urgent amendment of Eurojust’s mandate, following the invasion of Ukraine. So far, hundreds of files from various countries including Ukraine have been submitted to CICED for preservation and analysis.

The International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression Against Ukraine (ICPA) is also hosted by Eurojust. It is a unique judicial hub fostering cooperation between national prosecutors, and enabling the exchange of evidence and a common prosecution strategy.

The Agency additionally hosts the EU Network for investigation and prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes (the Genocide Network) - a central hub for the exchange of expertise in this area.

Since March 2022, Eurojust has also been actively participating in the EU Freeze and Seize Task Force set up by the European Commission to ensure the efficient implementation of EU sanctions against listed Russian and Belarussian oligarchs across the European Union. Eurojust provides operational support to the Task Force by coordinating Member States’ enforcement of Union sanctions through criminal law.

Browse our Key Developments Timeline, highlighting Eurojust’s actions in response to the war in Ukraine.

Latest developments

Latest developments

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The U.S. Department of State announces it will provide USD 1 million to the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA), established at Eurojust. Eurojust welcomes this financial contribution, which will be administered through the European Commission’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, and support the ICPA’s ongoing work.
The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, Europol, becomes a participant in the joint investigation team (JIT) on alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine. The Prosecutors General of the JIT partner countries involved and Ms Catherine De Bolle, Executive Director of Europol, sign the relevant documentation during the 17th Meeting of the Consultative Forum of Prosecutors General at Eurojust.
At their meeting in Tokyo, the justice ministers of the G7 reconfirm the commitments made in the Berlin Declaration adopted during their meeting in Germany’s capital in November 2022. In this context, they also welcome the start of the operational work of the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA) at Eurojust on 3 July 2023.
Marking a historic moment, the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression Against Ukraine (ICPA) officially started operations today at Eurojust. The ICPA will support the preparation of crime of aggression cases, by securing crucial evidence and facilitating the process of case building at an early stage. At a dedicated launch event on 3 July at Eurojust’s premises in The Hague, the ICPA was inaugurated by Eurojust’s President Ladislav Hamran, European Commissioner Didier Reynders, Prosecutor General of Ukraine Andriy Kostin, ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite and Justice Minister of the Netherlands, Ms. Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius. At the same time, a contribution agreement with the European Commission’s Service Foreign Policy Instruments was signed, and the Centre’s first operational kick-off meeting took place.
In the conclusions of the European Council meeting in Brussels, the members underline that the European Union remains firmly committed to ensuring that Russia is held fully accountable for its war of aggression against Ukraine. The Council welcomes the fact that the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA) is ready to start its support operations. The European Council also takes stock of efforts to establish a tribunal for the prosecution of the crime of aggression against Ukraine, including work done in the Core Group, and calls for the work to continue. According to the Council, the tribunal should enjoy the broadest cross-regional support and legitimacy.
At their meeting in Hiroshima, the leaders of the G7 welcome the establishment of the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA). They also acknowledge the efforts made at the United for Justice international conference organized by the Government of Ukraine in February.
In a public hearing of the European Parliament's LIBE Committee, Margarita Šniutytė-Daugėlienė, Vice-President of Eurojust, and Myroslava Krasnoborova, Liaison Prosecutor for Ukraine, present the Agency's work in support of the international efforts for accountability. The aim of the hearing is to provide a state of play on the ongoing investigations, supported by Ukrainian prosecutors and the ICC, and to reflect on recommendations to strengthen EU support. Other speakers at the event include Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, Thomas Lynch, Senior Adviser to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Andriy Kostin, Prosecutor General of Ukraine, and a representative of the Prosecutor General of Romania. A recording of the hearing is available here (Eurojust contribution from 16:35:45).
The Vice-President of the European Commission, Ms Věra Jourová, visits the Agency to discuss Eurojust's work towards accountability for Ukraine. The talks between Ms Jourová and Eurojust President Ladislav Hamran focus on the upcoming International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA) and the Agency's contributions to the EU Freeze and Seize Task Force.
During a working meeting of the Eurojust-supported joint investigation team (JIT) on alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine, held in Vilnius, Lithuania, its seven members agree to not only investigate alleged war crimes, but also crimes of genocide. The JIT also welcomes the U.S. Department of Justice's pledge to second a prosecutor to the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA).
Eurojust and its partners in the Justice and Home Affairs agencies' network (JHAAN) publish an updated Joint Paper highlighting their actions in the context of EU solidarity with Ukraine.
At the United for Justice Conference from 3-5 March in Lviv, Ukrainian authorities bring together a great number of stakeholders involved in the efforts to ensure accountability for alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine. As a key outcome of the conference, the seven partner countries of the Eurojust-supported joint investigation team (JIT) decide to amend the agreement between them in order to reflect the future role of the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA). The conference also marks the official launch of the Ukraine Accountability Dialogue Group, aimed at promoting dialogue and coherence across the diverse range of accountability initiatives.
The seven national authorities participating in the Eurojust-supported joint investigation team (JIT) on alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Department of Justice. Its aim is to enhance the coordination between the JIT partner countries and the U.S. authorities in their respective investigations in connection with the war in Ukraine.
Almost one year after the start of the war in Ukraine, Eurojust takes stock of the crucial steps it has taken in support of the judicial response to alleged core international crimes. During a media briefing in The Hague, it is announced that the Core International Crimes Evidence Database (CICED) has started operations. In addition, the Agency will host the future International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA). It will be part of the current support structure for the joint investigation team (JIT) on alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine.
In its meeting on 9 February, the European Council reaffirms its commitment to holding to account those responsible for alleged core international crimes in Ukraine. In the Conclusions of the meeting, the Council expresses its full support of Ukraine's and the international community's efforts in this respect, including the establishment of an appropriate mechanism for the prosecution of the crime of aggression, which is of concern to the international community as a whole. It underlines the European Union's support for the investigations by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court as well as for the creation, in The Hague, of an international centre for the prosecution of the crime of aggression against Ukraine, adding that this centre will be linked to the existing joint investigation team supported by Eurojust.
At a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announces the establishment of an International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine, based in The Hague. The Centre shall be embedded in the joint investigation team which is supported by Eurojust.
The Genocide Network Secretariat delivers the last in a series of six executive workshops on core international crimes for JIT members, this instance dedicated to international cooperation in core international crimes cases.
70 judicial practitioners from Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Romania and Ukraine discuss legal and strategic aspects of core international crime cases at a workshop organised by the European Judicial Training Network and the Genocide Network Secretariat. A specialised legal advisor from the Dutch war crimes unit participates.
At an executive workshop on the use of open-source information in core international crimes, 94 judicial practitioners exchange experiences: participants are prosecutors from the countries involved the joint investigation team and specialised prosecutors and law enforcement officials from France, The Netherlands and Germany.
Taking stock & discussing progress of investigations: Eurojust hosts coordination meeting with prosecutors from all investigating countries. They discuss actions against alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine and work of the joint investigation team.
Prosecutor General of Ukraine Andriy Kostin addresses all national prosecutors in Kyiv for the National Prosecutors Day of Ukraine from Eurojust, together with Eurojust President Ladislav Hamran, ICC Prosecutor Karim A. A. Khan, Prosecutor General of Lithuania Nida Grunskiene and Prosecutor General of Romania Gabriela Scutea.
In the 3rd annual Interparliamentary Committee Meeting on the Evaluation of Eurojust's activities, President Ladislav Hamran and Vice-Presidents Margarita Šniutytė-Daugėlienė and Boštjan Škrlec present to Members of the European Parliament and national parliaments Eurojust's contributions to address core international crimes and the plans for the Core International Crimes Evidence Database. Watch the recording here (section from 16:03).
The Berlin Declaration issued after the Meeting of the G7 Justice Ministers in Berlin refers to the key roles of the Genocide Network, the European Judicial Network and Eurojust can play in ensuring that national and international investigations into crimes committed in the course of Russia's aggression are coordinated from an early stage.
At the Supervision Conference: Data protection and criminal justice, Eurojust President Ladislav Hamran delivers a keynote speech. The Agency's Data Protection Officer, Diana Alonso Blas presents Eurojust's efforts to set up and maintain a robust data protection framework for the Core International Crimes Evidence Database. Watch the recorded session here.
The Genocide Network convenes for its 32nd Meeting. Among the various topics discussed are the partnerships of different actors supporting accountability for Ukraine (in particular between Ukrainian authorities, Eurojust, Europol, Genocide Network), as well as the amendment of the Eurojust Regulation, giving the Agency the legal possibility to store, preserve and analyse evidence on war crimes. Read meeting conclusions.
In a third ad hoc meeting of the Genocide Network concerning Ukraine, representatives of national authorities and civil society organisations documenting crimes in Ukraine come together to discuss documentation gaps and potential cooperation.
Judicial practitioners from Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Romania and Ukraine join a workshop on investigating and prosecuting sexual violence organised by the Genocide Network Secretariat, the European Judicial Training Network and the European Commission.
In a training on core international crimes investigations for law enforcement officials, organised by CEPOL with the support of the Genocide Network Secretariat, over 150 law enforcement colleagues follow presentations from Germany, the Netherlands and France about war crimes investigations, and receive insights on investigating core international crimes on the ground.
The Genocide Network Secretariat, the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN) and the European Commission (DG JUST) co-organise the online workshop 'Witness statements in core international crimes cases - challenges and solutions', attended by about 80 practitioners from Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia and Ukraine. The workshop offers peer-to-peer exchanges between participants and specialised prosecutors from Germany and Sweden. Five more workshops are scheduled until December 2022.
On the occasion of its Open Day, Eurojust publishes a video on the role of Eurojust and the Genocide Network in delivering justice for victims of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Matevž Pezdirc, Head of the Genocide Network Secretariat, and Selina Ganescu, Deputy National Member for Germany and Vice-Chair of Eurojust's Counter-Terrorism Team, discuss the Agency's contribution to the prosecution of core international crimes.
The judicial response to alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine is the central theme of the 16th meeting of the Consultative Forum of Prosecutors General of EU Member States, hosted on 13 and 14 October 2022 by Eurojust. Prosecutors General and Directors of Public Prosecutions discuss the expanded role of Eurojust in view of core international crimes, such as war crimes and crimes against humanity. They also meet, among others, with their new Ukrainian colleague Andriy Kostin and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Karim A.A. Khan KC.
In the margins of the 16th Consultative Forum of Prosecutors General, Eurojust President Ladislav Hamran meets the new Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Andriy Kostin. Mr Hamran and Mr Kostin discuss the situation in Ukraine and the role of the Agency in the judicial follow-up to the alleged core international crimes.
During a media briefing at Eurojust, it is announced that the Romanian judicial authorities have signed an agreement to become a member of the joint investigation team (JIT) on alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine. This makes Romania the seventh member of the JIT, which is actively supported by Eurojust. The JIT was set up on 25 March 2022 by Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine and later joined by Estonia, Latvia and Slovakia. In April of this year, the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) became a participant in the JIT.
The use of joint investigation teams (JITs) into core international crimes is the main topic of discussion at the 18th annual meeting of EU National Experts in this field. The meeting, hosted on 5 and 6 October 2022 by the JITs Network Secretariat at Eurojust, focuses, in particular, on the joint investigation team between Ukraine and a number of EU Member States, set up with the support of the Agency.
During a dedicated technical briefing, experts from Eurojust, the Genocide Network Secretariat and the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) engage in a dialogue with CSO representatives on the purpose and practical use of the recently published Guidelines for documenting international crimes. On that occasion, a joint video statement on the Guidelines by Eurojust President Ladislav Hamran and Karim A.A. Khan KC, ICC Prosecutor, are being published.
Eurojust and the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) publish Guidelines for civil society organisations on documenting international crimes and human rights violations for accountability purposes. They aim to assist in fighting impunity and have been drawn up building on the expertise of the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICC, Eurojust, the Genocide Network, civil society organisations, national prosecutors and international partners.
In her State of The Union address, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen outlines her flagship initiatives for the coming year, with an emphasis on the continued support to Ukraine and its people. In this context, the accompanying State of The Union Achievements 2022 document mentions Eurojust's participation in the Freeze & Seize Task Force (p. 9) and its support to the joint investigation team (p. 14).
Eurojust and its eight partners in the Justice and Home Affairs agencies' network (JHAAN) publish a Joint Paper highlighting the broad spectrum of their activities in relation to the war in Ukraine. The document provides an overview of the agencies' support to EU Member States and institutions in responding to the conflict and helping people affected and displaced by the war.
Eurojust President Ladislav Hamran and the new Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Andriy Kostin, meet virtually for the first time. Both reconfirm their commitment to the close cooperation between the Agency and the Ukrainian authorities, with a view to ensuring accountability for the alleged core international crimes in the country.
Eurojust Vice-President Margarita Šniutytė-Daugėlienė presents at the Ukraine Accountability Conference, organised by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ICC and the European Commission. At the end of the event, the Political Declaration of the Ministerial Ukraine Accountability Conference is adopted.
Lukáš Starý, National Member for the Czech Republic at Eurojust and Chair of the Board on Relations with Partners, represents the Agency at the Informal Meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Prague. The judicial part of the meeting focuses on the investigation of alleged war crimes committed in Ukraine, the protection of vulnerable persons and victims of crime, and the digitalisation of international cross-border judicial cooperation with third countries.
The Genocide Network Secretariat and the European Judicial Training Network organise a joint training on the 'Investigation and Prosecution of Core International Crimes' in Nuremberg, Germany, hosted by the International Nuremberg Principles Academy.
The Guidelines on Joint Investigation Teams Involving Third Countries, jointly prepared by the JITs Network Secretariat and Eurojust, provide guidance to EU Member State practitioners on setting up a joint investigation team with a third country. A Checklist for Practitioners is also available and will soon be translated into all EU languages.
Eurojust gains new powers to preserve, analyse and store evidence on core international crimes as the amendment to the Eurojust Regulation enters into force.
Estonia, Latvia and Slovakia sign an agreement to become members of the joint investigation team (JIT) on alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine. In a Eurojust press conference, held together with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and attended by the Prosecutors General of Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine, the enlargement of the JIT is officially announced. Watch the press conference on YouTube.
In a written procedure, the Council of the European Union adopts the amendments of the Eurojust Regulation that will allow the Agency to store and analyse evidence related to war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.
The European Parliament votes to extend the mandate of Eurojust, with 560 votes in favour, 17 against and 18 abstaining.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague will become a participant in the joint investigation team (JIT) on alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine. ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan QC and the Prosecutors General of Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine sign an agreement on the first ever participation of the Court in a JIT. With this agreement, the JIT parties and the ICC send a clear message that all efforts will be undertaken to effectively gather evidence on core international crimes committed in Ukraine and bring those responsible to justice.
Eurojust welcomes the European Commission's proposal to amend the Eurojust Regulation to collect, analyse and preserve evidence related to core international crimes, and to process data such as videos, audio recordings and satellite images, and share such evidence with national and international authorities, including the International Criminal Court. President Ladislav Hamran states : 'The mandate to store and preserve evidence related to war crimes and other core international crimes will further bear witness to the European Union's commitment to the rule of law, including in war situations, and to Eurojust's mission of getting justice done across borders.'
The European Commission proposes to amend the Eurojust Regulation to give the Agency the legal possibility to collect, preserve and share evidence on war crimes. The Commission statement underlines that 'to ensure accountability for the crimes committed in Ukraine, it is crucial to ensure safe storage of evidence outside Ukraine as well as to support the investigations and prosecutions by various European and international judicial authorities. While Eurojust has practical experience on international crimes, the existing Regulation did not envisage a situation of this scale and crimes of this extent, requiring an update in Eurojust's legal base.'
Evelina Dobrovolska, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, visit Eurojust. President Ladislav Hamran and Ms Dobrovolska discuss current questions of international cooperation, among which the judicial proceedings regarding the war in Ukraine.
The countries forming part of the joint investigation team meet at Eurojust with representatives of other countries and institutions, including the International Criminal Court (ICC), the National Members of EU countries and the Liaison Prosecutors of third countries stationed at the Agency. The European Commission's Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers joins the open session. During the meeting, the participants discuss the initiatives taken at EU level, as well as by national authorities and the ICC, to build cases and collect evidence. The JIT parties express their appreciation for the close cooperation with the ICC and the common efforts to include the ICC into the legal cooperation framework offered by the JIT agreement. They also call for a common platform for the collection and storage of procedural evidence, to ensure that collected evidence can be identified, thus avoiding duplication of work and over-documentation.
The 'Freeze and Seize' Task Force meets with US and Ukrainian representatives to discuss international cooperation on the enforcement of sanctions. It is announced that almost EUR 30 billion of assets of Russian and Belarussian oligarchs and entities have been frozen by the EU so far.
The U.S. Special Envoy for Belarus, Ambassador Julie D. Fisher, visits Eurojust. President Hamran and Ambassador Fisher discuss accountability for human rights violations in Belarus.
The Genocide Network holds its 31st meeting. Participants discuss the use of structural investigations and lessons learned from the Koblenz trial.
Eurojust President Ladislav Hamran takes part in an online discussion organised by MEP Sergey Lagodinsky on Building the Case - Bringing Russia to Justice. A recording of the event is made available afterwards.
The Genocide Network hosts its second special session on Ukraine. Valuable discussions with civil society on initiatives for documenting crimes. Additional agenda points: the cooperation between national authorities, Eurojust and the International Criminal Court, as well as challenges, needs and coordination pertaining to the situation in Ukraine.
At the EU-US Senior Officials Meeting both the EU and US delegations acknowledge Eurojust's coordinating role at EU level for investigations into war crimes, as well as for freeze and seize initiatives.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen issues a statement following her phone call with President Zelenskyy on the Commission's reactions to the atrocities in Bucha.
A second extraordinary meeting of the NREM (EU Network of National Rapporteurs or Equivalent Mechanisms) organised by the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator takes place in an online format to take stock of the situation in regard to trafficking in human beings related to the war in Ukraine. The representatives of all EU Member States, Eurojust, Europol, Frontex, EUAA, and CEPOL give an update on the situation and on their activities.
The parties of the joint investigation team meet with representatives of Eurojust, Europol and the International Criminal Court. All participants emphasise the need for proper gathering and preservation of evidence at this initial stage of the ongoing investigations. In light of the large scope of the alleged violations, the participants underline the need to look for ways to ensure the efficient use of resources and avoid duplication of investigations, investigative actions, evidence gathering, etc. Eurojust and Europol present their possibilities to further support the joint investigation team. The delegations agree to continue their close cooperation in this case.
Eurojust President Ladislav Hamran delivers his presentation International Justice - A prosecutor's view on armed conflict and the road to delivering justice in a webinar of the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) in Dublin, Ireland. A recording of the event is made available afterwards.
JITs National Experts come together in a working group meeting to discuss a range of JIT-related issues and to prepare the Network plenary meeting that will take place in October. One of the main topics is 'JITs in times of conflict', which addresses also the current developments in Ukraine and future needs of judicial cooperation. The Experts consider how JITs could be used to facilitate investigations into war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, and other similar crime types. Additionally, case presentations from prosecutors involved in JITs set up in similar cases provide for a valuable opportunity to exchange some experience and best practices.
Responsible national authorities of Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine sign a JIT agreement to enable the exchange of information and facilitate investigations into war crimes, crimes against humanity and other core international crimes. Participation in the JIT may be extended to other EU Member States, third countries or other third parties in due course.
The Genocide Network gives an introductory training for practitioners from national authorities on investigating and prosecuting core international crimes.
Several EU Ministers of Justice and their Ukrainian counterpart meet at Eurojust to discuss the proceedings in regard to Ukraine. Eurojust publishes a statement of President Hamran. Further statements are published in a press release of the French Ministry of Justice.
EU ambassadors in The Hague have a work meeting at the French Embassy with ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan and Eurojust President Ladislav Hamran.
Eurojust President Ladislav Hamran and ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan meet for discussions at the Agency's headquarters in The Hague.
The Ambassador of Ukraine to the Netherlands, H.E. Maksym Kononenko, visits Eurojust for talks with President Ladislav Hamran.
In light of the developments in Ukraine, the JITs Network Secretariat facilitates an informal meeting between several National Experts on JITs to discuss joint investigation teams with third countries and JITs in times of conflict. The Experts exchange views on possible obstacles in establishing JITs with third countries affected by armed conflict in terms of possibilities/limitations to cooperate and gather evidence; possible limitations stemming from domestic jurisdiction rules to investigate and/or prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity when committed abroad, and previous experience in JITs set up in similar cases.
The European Commission publishes a press release on the 'Freeze and Seize' Task Force.
European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders opens the kick-off meeting of the 'Freeze and Seize' Task Force. Goal of the coordination at EU level is to ensure the effective freezing and confiscation of assets of sanctioned individuals and entities. Eurojust's role will be to centrally collect information on criminal proceedings against persons and companies on the sanctions list.
The Genocide Network holds an extraordinary meeting about Ukraine. The meeting is opened by European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders. Iryna Venediktova, Prosecutor General of Ukraine, and Karim A.A. Khan, Prosecutor of the ICC, give keynote speeches. More than 130 representatives of investigative authorities and NGOs attend and share information on their ongoing actions, laying a foundation for future cooperation.
The EU Justice and Home Affairs agencies' network (JHAAN) publishes a joint statement on the agencies' support for EU institutions and Member States with regard to Ukraine.
After the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council meeting, EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders holds a press conference in which he announces the establishment of a 'Freeze and Seize' Task Force aimed at ensuring that sanctions against Russia and Belarus are enforced. Eurojust is encouraged to fully exercise its coordinating role and to make itself available as required to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in connection with the exercise of his duties. Further details of the JHA Council meeting's results are published in a press release.
A coordination meeting is held at Eurojust at the initiative of the Prosecutor General of Lithuania, the Polish Minister of Justice and Prosecutor General and the Ukrainian Prosecutor General.

 

Publications

PUBLICATION DATE:13 February 2024
This factsheet, developed by the JITs Network Secretariat and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, presents the ways in which the International Criminal Court may be involved in joint investigation teams, the benefits of their involvement, and the support that Eurojust...
PUBLICATION DATE:19 October 2023
This paper provides a comparative overview of the way in which EU Member States, Genocide Network Observer States and Ukraine have implemented the crime of aggression in their domestic laws. How is the crime of aggression defined in national criminal codes? Have the majority of states adopted the...
PUBLICATION DATE:11 October 2023
This report outlines the most prominent cases in which the European Court of Human Rights evalu­ated the application of Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Article 7 provides that ‘no one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which...
PUBLICATION DATE:23 May 2023
An increasing number of investigations and prosecutions for core international crimes cases in the EU are based on universal jurisdiction. This factsheet explains what universal (or extraterritorial) jurisdiction is, and how it serves as a powerful tool of last resort in the fight against impunity...
PUBLICATION DATE:04 May 2023
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on 24 February 2022, is the most documented armed conflict in the history of humankind. It has triggered an unprecedented response from the international judicial community, with Ukraine-related investigations ongoing in over 20 countries at the time of...
PUBLICATION DATE:04 May 2023
This timeline outlines key milestones in Eurojust’s support for the joint investigation team (JIT) into alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine.
PUBLICATION DATE:04 May 2023
This leaflet highlights Eurojust's support to justice for Ukraine through various initiatives and services. It includes support for investigations into alleged international crimes, the collection, preservation and analysis of evidence, practical guidance and training for judicial practitioners and...
PUBLICATION DATE:31 March 2023
Russia's unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine, which started on 24 February 2022, triggered a firm and overarching political response by the European Union. Actions in the justice and home affairs policy field form integral parts of a successful and efficient response. The...
PUBLICATION DATE:23 February 2023|Last update: 11 December 2023
CICED is a unique, tailor made judicial database set up by Eurojust in 2023 to preserve, store and analyse evidence of core international crimes. CICED’s centralised approach will support national and international investigations by shedding light not only on individual offences, but also unveiling...
PUBLICATION DATE:21 September 2022
These guidelines aim to assist civil society organisations to collect and preserve information related to international crimes and human rights violations, which may become admissible evidence in court. A series of proposed ‘do’s and don’ts’ are provided, on what may be helpful and what could...
PUBLICATION DATE:23 August 2022
Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine, which started on 24 February 2022, triggered a firm and overarching political response by the European Union. Actions in the justice and home affairs policy field are integral parts of this response, with a paramount importance...
PUBLICATION DATE:17 June 2022
Checklist for Practitioners on Joint Investigation Teams Involving Third Countries Read the Checklist These guidelines, jointly prepared by the JITs Network Secretariat and Eurojust, provide guidance to EU Member State practitioners on setting up a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) with a third country...
PUBLICATION DATE:17 June 2022
Guidelines on Joint Investigation Teams Involving Third Countries Read the Guidelines This checklist covers all issues practitioners need to consider when setting up a JIT with a third country. The checklist addresses all relevant issues for consideration from the set-up phase to the operational and...
PUBLICATION DATE:23 May 2022
This factsheet outlines the key factors for successful investigations and prosecutions of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes within the EU. It is essential for Member States to adopt a complete legislative framework defining core international crimes into national law. To build...
PUBLICATION DATE:23 May 2022
Using observations collected by the Genocide Network Secretariat from Genocide Network Member and Observer States, this report engages in a stocktaking exercise. Looking back at recommendations listed in the 2014 Strategy of the Genocide Network to combat impunity for genocide, crimes against...

Q&As

Q&As

Over the past 20 years, Eurojust has built up a solid track record in providing operational, technical, logistical and financial support to national prosecutors working on cross-border cases. From the very start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the same support has served to coordinate and strengthen national investigations into international crimes committed in Ukraine.

Eurojust helped to set up a Joint Investigation Team that now consists of Ukraine, six EU Member States and the ICC.

Recognising the specific evidentiary challenges related to this type of investigations, a Core International Crimes Evidence Database was established after a record speed amendment of Eurojust’s legal framework.

Already having this advanced support structure in place made Eurojust a logical choice for hosting the ICPA. Being located in The Hague will also facilitate close cooperation and coordination with the ICC and other international justice actors.

A JIT is set up by countries. It is based on a legal agreement between national authorities for the purpose of collecting and exchanging information and evidence.

The ICPA is set up by Eurojust. The purpose is to provide enhanced support to countries which have opened an investigation into the crime of aggression against Ukraine. Eurojust will not be collecting evidence itself; this will be done by national authorities in the context of their investigations.

The ICPA is not limited to JIT members but will provide support to the JIT.

Countries in possession of information or evidence relevant for the investigation of the crime of aggression against Ukraine may also request their participation in the ICPA.

The ICPA was set up in support of national judicial investigations into the crime of aggression that are being carried out by independent prosecutors and judges.

While having facilitated the discussions between stakeholders about setting up the ICPA, the European Commission, in full respect of the rule of law, has no influence on the prosecutorial process.

War crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and aggression are all international crimes. While the legal sources that outlaw these crimes differ, they have in common that they constitute grave violations of international law and are therefore considered of concern to the international community as a whole.

As such, these crimes fall within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. A different test applies to the exercise of jurisdiction over the crime of aggression than for the other core international crimes.

The international definition considers the crime of aggression as a leadership crime that can only be committed by those with the power to shape a state's policy of aggression, rather than those who carry it out.

Countries in possession of information or evidence relevant for the investigation of the crime of aggression against Ukraine may request to participate in the ICPA.

While difficult to predict at this stage, a wider interest to participate may be expected in light of the unprecedented number of Ukraine-related national investigations.

It is also expected that the ICPA will be able to count on the knowledge of internationally recognised experts in this field, as many stakeholders have offered to support the ICPA in this manner.

There is a clear link between the work of the ICPA and the CICED. Evidence already submitted to CICED may be relevant for the investigation into the crime of aggression. Vice versa, national evidence brought in by ICPA participants can be stored in CICED and subsequently analysed.

A joint investigation team (JIT) is the most advanced tool in international cooperation in criminal matters. It is a team in which judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officials work together on a transnational criminal investigation, based on a legal agreement between two or more countries for a fixed period. Eurojust has been assisting countries to set up and operate JITs since 2009.

Eurojust supported Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine in setting up the JIT on 25 March 2022, the International Criminal Court and later Europol in becoming a participant, and the extension of the JIT to four more EU member states. The Agency will support the JIT partners in the entire process with operational, analytical, legal and financial assistance. Eurojust also accommodates the coordination and cooperation between all national investigating and prosecuting authorities who have initiated investigations into core international crimes.

The JIT was set up by Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. On 31 May 2022, Estonia, Latvia and Slovakia became members, followed by Romania on 13 October 2022. Eurojust, Europol and the ICC are participants in the JIT. The JIT’s seven national authorities signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Department of Justice on 3 March 2023.
While it cannot be excluded that other EU Member States will join the JIT at a later stage, it is important to keep the size of the JIT limited so the number of members does not negatively influence the decision-making processes. The Member States that joined so far are all in possession of large amounts of evidence in the form of witness and victim testimonies coming from Ukrainian refugees.
The European Network for investigation and prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes ('Genocide Network') enables close cooperation between national authorities investigating and prosecuting the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, known collectively as core international crimes. The Network's mandate is to ensure perpetrators do not attain impunity within the Member States.

The 'Freeze and Seize' Task Force was set up by the European Commission to ensure the efficient implementation of the EU sanctions against listed Russian and Belarussian oligarchs across the EU.

The Task Force is composed of the Commission, national contact points from each Member State, Eurojust and Europol as well as other EU agencies and bodies as necessary. It will coordinate actions by EU Member States, Eurojust, Europol and other agencies to seize and, where national law provides for it, confiscate assets of Russian and Belarussian oligarchs.

CICED is the Core International Crimes Evidence Database , set up and managed by Eurojust. It is a unique, tailor-made judicial database in which evidence of core international crimes (genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes) is stored, preserved and analysed. CICED enables the Agency to support national judicial authorities in investigating and prosecuting core international crimes and their context. Competent national authorities from EU Member States and countries with Liaison Prosecutors at Eurojust can submit evidence to CICED via secure file transfer. Possible types of evidence include, but are not limited to, videos, photographs, audio recordings, satellite images, witness statements, victim testimonies, and medical and forensic documents.

The fact that CICED stores evidence on core international crimes from national judicial proceedings in a single, secure, central database allows for the early identification of parallel investigations, which results in a more efficient use of resources. Providing an overview of interviewed victims helps avoid re-victimisation by repeated interviews. In addition, targeted evidence searches mean faster and more effective national investigations. Based on structured evidence, national and international authorities can successfully proceed with prosecutions.

Shortly after the beginning of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, the institutions of the European Union extended Eurojust's mandate. On 1 June 2022, Regulation 2022/838 entered into force, allowing the Agency to preserve, analyse and store evidence of core international crimes, and thereby paving the way for CICED. The evidence database has been set up within Eurojust's secure IT environment and complies with the highest IT security and data protection standards.

Please contact your National Desk or Liaison Prosecutor by email, specifying that you wish to submit evidence to CICED. Eurojust will contact you with information on how evidence transfer works, or if you have already submitted evidence, with the technical information necessary for the transfer. Please note that this contact option is reserved exclusively for national judicial authorities.

Eurojust will receive evidence submitted by national authorities. Information collected by private parties such as non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations may eventually become evidence, but it needs to be assessed by national and international judicial authorities. Private parties are therefore asked to submit relevant information to their national authorities.

CICED is not limited to a particular conflict. It can serve as evidence storage for any armed conflict investigated by Eurojust's partners.

More information is available in this section of the Eurojust website.

Videos

Guidelines on Documenting International Crimes - Joint statement (short version)

Ladislav Hamran, President of Eurojust, and Karim A.A. Khan KC, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, explain the purpose, scope and main features of the Guidelines for Civil Society Organisations on Documenting International Crimes and Human Rights Violations for Criminal Accountability Purposes.


EU Day Against Impunity 2023

On 23 May 2023, the 8th EU Day Against Impunity took place as part of the MLA Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of the Convention on International Cooperation in the Investigation and Prosecution of Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes and other International Crimes. The recording includes contributions from the Swedish Presidency of the Council, the European Commission, Eurojust and the Genocide Network.


Media briefing on the JIT on alleged international crimes in Ukraine | 23/02/2023

On 23 February 2023, Eurojust held a hybrid media briefing on the joint investigation team into alleged core international crimes in Ukraine, the Core International Crimes Evidence Database (CICED) and the future International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression in Ukraine (ICPA).


Eurojust Open Day 2022: Justice in times of adversity - Eurojust and core international crimes

Eurojust Open Day on 16 October 2022: Matevž Pezdirc, Head of the Genocide Network Secretariat, and Selina Ganescu, Deputy National Member for Germany and Vice-Chair of Eurojust's Counter-Terrorism Team, discuss the role of the Agency and the Genocide Network in delivering justice for victims of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.


Media briefing on the JIT on alleged international crimes in Ukraine | 13/10/2022

On 13 October 2022, Eurojust held an online media briefing on the joint investigation team into alleged core international crimes in Ukraine.


Guidelines on Documenting International Crimes - Joint statement of Eurojust and the ICC Prosecutor

Ladislav Hamran, President of Eurojust, and Karim A.A. Khan KC, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, explain the purpose, scope and main features of the Guidelines for Civil Society Organisations on Documenting International Crimes and Human Rights Violations for Criminal Accountability Purposes.


Press conference - Joint investigation team on alleged core intl. crimes in Ukraine

A recording of the press conference which was held at Eurojust in The Hague on 31 May 2022. It was announced that the judicial authorities of Estonia, Latvia and Slovakia would become members of the joint investigation team (JIT) on alleged core international crimes, which had been set up with the support of Eurojust. 


EU Day Against Impunity 2022

On 23 May 2022, the French Presidency of the Council, the European Commission, Eurojust and the Genocide Network marked the 7th EU Day Against Impunity. It was devoted to a practical assessment of the 2014 Strategy of the EU Genocide Network to combat impunity for the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.