Ukraine Is the Only Country Authorized to Conduct the Investigation Into the Plane Crash, According to the International Law (an Expert Opinion)


Kyiv, 18 July 2014. “Ukraine is the only country which may conduct the investigation into the circumstances of the plane crash, according to the 1946 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, article 26, which vests the country on whose territory an aviation event took place with the authority for investigating such aviation event,” stated Andriy Kozlov, an expert in international air law, during the briefing at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “The only party with an authority to conduct an investigation is the country – not several countries, not an international organization – the state, on whose territory the event took place. In this case it’s Ukraine,” clarified the expert.

A special body, the National Bureau for Investigation of Aviation Events and Incidents, exists in Ukraine for investigation of such catastrophes. It has to initiate the investigation, appoint the chief investigator, and, in accordance with Annex 13 to the International Convention on Civil Aviation, conduct the investigation. “As for the persons, who may to be invited to join the investigation committee, there are no limitations regarding their citizenship, provided by either Ukrainian or international law; therefore representatives of various countries may be invited to join the committee.

In addition, along with the investigation, there is a body of authorized representatives – for observing the site of the events, for participating in all activities of the investigation committee, for examining the final report, for providing comments and notes. Such persons may be sent by the state which owned the aircraft (Malaysia), the state which developed and produced the aircraft (the US), and any other state, whose citizens were aboard the shot-down aircraft. We know, that unfortunately, it’s a lot of people and countries.”