France files ICJ Article 63 declaration of intervention in Ukraine v. Russia case concerning genocide

The French Republic on Wednesday invoked Article 63 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. A press release from the Hague announced that the French Republic filed the declaration of intervention for the case ‘allegations of genocide under the convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation)’. This  follows accusations of genocide in Ukraine made by 33 legal and human rights experts.

An independent legal analysis of Russian breaches of the Genocide Convention, published by the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, outlines in section III of its summary the ways Russia may be in breach of the 1948 Genocide Convention. Under article III(c), incitement to commit genocide is a distinct crime whether or not genocide follows.

On account of the claims, the ICC sent a team of 42 forensics and investigative experts to Ukraine to investigate.

France is not the first country to invoke Article 63 intervention. Article 63 stipulates that states have right to intervention in proceedings in which they are notified and thus bind them. This stems from article 62 powers, which grants request to intervene where states “consider that it has an interest of a legal nature which may be affected by the decision in the case.” In addition, the judgement  is equally binding on all states involved.

In accordance with Article 83 of the 1978 Rules of Court, Ukraine and Russia are invited to furnish written observations on France’s declaration of intervention.