Russia-Ukraine war: Australia files intervention in International Court of Justice against alleged genocide

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Amidst the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, Australia has filed a declaration of intervention in the case concerning allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the International Court of Justice.

In its declaration, Australia “stresses its continued commitment to the rule-based international order that is critical for maintaining international peace and security”, adding that it “recognizes the vital role the Court plays in this regard, as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, particularly in relation to the peaceful settlement of disputes”.

Pursuant to Article 63 of the Statute, whenever the construction of a convention to which States other than those concerned in the case are parties is in question, each of these States has the right to intervene in the proceedings. In this case, the construction given by the judgment of the Court will be equally binding upon them.

To avail itself of the right of intervention conferred by Article 63 of the Statute, Australia relies on its status as a party to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

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Australia states in its declaration that it was “one of the first countries to ratify the Genocide Convention in 1949” and that, since then, it has been “a steadfast supporter of the establishment and mandate of international courts and tribunals with jurisdiction over genocide and other serious international crimes”.

In accordance with Article 83 of the Rules of Court, Ukraine, and the Russian Federation have been invited to furnish written observations on Australia’s declaration of intervention.

Several other countries including Poland, Denmark, Italy, France, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Germany have also filed an intervention last week.

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