Constitutional amendments allows people to push for the Rome Statute ratification in a year time – MP


Kyiv, July 13, 2016. After two years of Russian aggression, Ukraine is facing a number of criminal issues, such as violation of human rights. Ukraine’s law system is unprepared to deal with crimes against humanity and war crimes. Meanwhile, last week Verkhovna Rada passed the Amnesty Law 4255 that allows granting amnesty to the law enforcement officers that committed crimes on Maidan only because they have a status of ATO soldiers. There is also a lack of motivation in the law enforcement bodies to investigate crimes since they are convinced that the prosecutors eventually will receive amnesty according to the Minsk Agreements. This was stated by Oleksandra Matviychuk, the head of the department of the international organization “Parliaments for global action”.

While 30 members of the Verkhovna Rada that are currently members of Parliamentarians for global action rightly see Rome Statute in a contest of the current Russian aggression in Ukraine, Mark Pritchard, MP House of Commons UK, chairman of the National Group of the UK international organization “Parliamentarians for Global Action”, notes that this issue should be perceived more internationally. He also explains the essentiality of the International Criminal Court (ICC): “The ICC was never to be designed in a competition with the domestic court. It possesses the complementary role in relation to the domestic court. So there is no reason why some of the issues that ICC addresses cannot be implemented within the existing Ukrainian Criminal Court”, he explained. Mark Pritchard believes that this setback in Rome Statute ratification is temporary, though still very unfortunate and the sides should continue the dialog.

Prof. David Donat Kettin, secretary general of the international organization “Parliamentarians for Global Action”, added on the issue of ICC. “It is not the lack of support for ICC, but the some sort of delay that needs to be addressed by engaging with the members of the military. We would like to explain that this ratification will give rights rather than put additional duties on those involved in the armed conflict”, he said. He stressed that it is not correct to say that by ratifying the Rome Statute “you will give weapons to your enemies” as all the legal claims that can be brought after the ratification can be brought today as well. Prof. Kettin also stated that that according to Ukraine’s Constitution, after one year the constitutional amendment postponing the ratification could be repelled. “That is the role that can be played by the Parliament and the people to call for the President to take this step”, he underlined.

Graham Jones, Member of British Parliament, member of the international organization “Parliamentarians for Global Action” mentioned some other Ukraine’s internal issues. “Great number of displaced persons causes great concern that will be raised by UK Parliamentarians. We have migrant crisis within Europe but we should not forget about the IDPs in Ukraine. The death penalty that is about to be introduced in [occupied] Donbass area is also being discussed and will be taken back to the United Kingdom”, Mr Jones promised.