KYIV — 27 November, 2015. The Ukrainian Bar Association publicly announced its attitude towards the postponement of the provision about the International Criminal Court jurisdiction recognition by Ukraine coming into force. This provision is a part of the Constitutional changes project submitted to the Parliament.
This year on 25 November, the President of Ukraine submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine the project of the law of Ukraine "Making changes to the Ukrainian Constitution (in the scope of justice system)".
The project suggests that Ukraine may recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court under the terms and conditions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (part 6 of the Clause 124 of the Ukrainian Constitution in the project edition).
At the same time the article 1 of the Section ІІ "The Final and Transitional Provisions" of the law project suggests that proper provision becomes effective only in three years after the day of the law publication.
Thus, the changes to the Constitution submitted to the Parliament by the President of Ukraine once again postpone the possibility of the International Criminal Court jurisdiction recognition by Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Bar Association stands on the position that the further delay of the Rome Statute ratification by Ukraine is unacceptable.
The events of recent two years (the crimes against the Maidan, the annexation of Crimea and Russian aggression at Ukrainian East) are indicative of the importance and urgency of this issue for Ukraine as well as the necessity of just and unbiased investigation of the crimes against humanity, military crimes and crimes of aggression which had place in the course of these events.
The Rome Statute ratification is also a Ukrainian obligation according to the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement (clause 8). In the meantime, the Ukrainian side declared that the Ukrainian obligations according to the clause 8 of the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement pertaining to the ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Crime Court dated 1998 will be carried out after making proper amendments to the Ukrainian Constitution.
The Association consistently stands for the prioritization of the International Criminal Court jurisdiction recognition by Ukraine in the course of the Constitutional process. So, for example, on 29 June of this year the Association's Board approved the Main Approaches to Making Changes to the Ukrainian Constitution where we insist on making amendments to the Ukrainian Constitution that would eliminate Constitutional obstacles on the way of the International Criminal Court jurisdiction recognition by Ukraine and point out that this step would be a real maturity test for our authorities that will prove their adhesion to democratic values.
The Association has positively evaluated the inclusion of proper provisions to the text of the law project that was approved by the Constitutional Commission and the Venice Commission suggesting that these provisions come into force simultaneously with other changes to the Ukrainian Constitution in the scope of of justice system.
Taking all this into account, the Ukrainian Bar Association encourages the President of Ukraine, who is an initiator of the Constitutional changes, to reconsider his position on the postponement of the aforementioned provision to come into force as well as other Constitutional process participants to show political will and facilitate the elimination of any obstacles on the way to the International Criminal Court jurisdiction recognition by Ukraine in the course of the Constitutional process.