UK files intervention in ICJ investigation of alleged Russian genocide in Ukraine

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Friday filed a declaration of intervention in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case of Ukraine v. Russian Federation. Human rights experts in Ukraine and across the world have accused Russia of genocide during its invasion of Ukraine. Until today, the UK has declined to intervene or officially label Russian aggression in Ukraine a genocide.

According to the ICJ, under Article 63 of the Statute of the Court, states may intervene in proceedings if the outcome will bind them. Additionally, Article 62 of the ICJ Statute provides that a state may request to intervene in a contentious case if it “consider[s] that it has an interest of a legal nature which may be affected by the decision in the case.”

The UK believes the case “raises important issues concerning the Genocide Convention” and that it has “a direct interest in the construction that might be placed upon provisions of the Convention by the Court in [the] proceedings.”

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

The UK’s declaration of intervention will be available on the ICJ’s website shortly.