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Minister Coveney on Ireland’s intervention at the International Court of Justice in Ukraine v Russia

Minister Coveney on Ireland’s intervention at the International Court of Justice in Ukraine v Russian Federation

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD, today announced that Ireland has filed an intervention at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as a third party in the case taken by Ukraine against the Russian Federation under the Genocide Convention.

Ukraine instituted proceedings against the Russian Federation in February. In its application to the Court Ukraine argued that Russia falsely claimed that acts of genocide have occurred in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts of Ukraine, and used this as a basis to recognise the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ and ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’, and to invade Ukraine.

On 16 March 2022, the Court made an order granting provisional measures requested by Ukraine, including an order that Russia must suspend its military operations in Ukraine. To date Russia has ignored the Court’s order for provisional measures. Russia did not participate in the hearing preceding the Order of Provisional Measures and denies that the ICJ has jurisdiction to hear the case.

Ireland is entitled to intervene in the proceedings as a Party to the Genocide Convention. Ireland’s intervention argues that the ICJ does have jurisdiction in this case and that the use of force by Russia on the pretext of a false allegation of genocide in Ukraine is a serious violation of the Genocide Convention.
The Minister said:

“As a party to the Genocide Convention and a strong defender of the international rules-based system, Ireland has a strong interest in ensuring that the Convention is properly interpreted and applied. The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and plays a key role underpinning that rules-based system. Intervention allows a country that is not a party to the case to support that system by putting its legal interpretation of the Convention before the Court.

“Ireland is also firmly committed to ensuring accountability for serious breaches of international law, including abuse of the Genocide Convention as a pretext for the illegal use of force against Ukraine. As an elected member of the UN Security Council, we have consistently condemned Russian aggression, co-sponsoring a landmark resolution at the General Assembly denouncing the invasion as illegal, unjustified, and unprovoked. Ireland’s intervention in this case is a further demonstration of our determination to ensure accountability.”


Press Office

21 September 2022

Notes to editors

• Article 63 of the Statue of the ICJ allows any State Party to a convention to intervene in proceedings concerning the interpretation of that convention. Ireland is a State Party to the Genocide Convention, and was notified by the Registrar of the ICJ on 30 March 2022 informing it of the right of intervention under Article 63.
• On 13 July 2022, Ireland, along with over 40 countries (including all EU member states except Hungary) signed a Joint Statement in which they announced their intention to intervene in these proceedings. To date 12 other states have filed interventions with the Court, including France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, New Zealand and the United States

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