Ireland intervenes in ICJ case between Russia and Ukraine

Ireland intervenes in ICJ case between Russia and Ukraine

Ireland has filed an intervention at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as a third party in the case taken by Ukraine against the Russian Federation under the Genocide Convention.

Ukraine instituted proceedings against the Russian Federation in February. In its application to the court, Ukraine argued that Russia falsely claimed that acts of genocide have occurred in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts of Ukraine, and used this as a basis to recognise the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ and ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’, and to invade Ukraine.

On 16 March 2022, the court made an order granting provisional measures requested by Ukraine, including an order that Russia must suspend its military operations in Ukraine. To date Russia has ignored the court’s order for provisional measures.

Russia did not participate in the hearing preceding the order of provisional measures and denies that the ICJ has jurisdiction to hear the case.

Ireland is entitled to intervene in the proceedings as a party to the Genocide Convention. Ireland’s intervention argues that the ICJ does have jurisdiction in this case and that the use of force by Russia on the pretext of a false allegation of genocide in Ukraine is a serious violation of the Genocide Convention.

Ireland’s foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney said: “As a party to the Genocide Convention and a strong defender of the international rules-based system, Ireland has a strong interest in ensuring that the Convention is properly interpreted and applied.

“The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and plays a key role underpinning that rules-based system. Intervention allows a country that is not a party to the case to support that system by putting its legal interpretation of the Convention before the Court.

“Ireland is also firmly committed to ensuring accountability for serious breaches of international law, including abuse of the Genocide Convention as a pretext for the illegal use of force against Ukraine.

“As an elected member of the UN Security Council, we have consistently condemned Russian aggression, co-sponsoring a landmark resolution at the General Assembly denouncing the invasion as illegal, unjustified, and unprovoked. Ireland’s intervention in this case is a further demonstration of our determination to ensure accountability.”

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