Minister Coveney on Ireland’s third party intervention before the European Court of Human Rights
News08 September 2022
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD, has today announced the Government’s decision to seek leave to intervene as a third party in proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights (‘‘the Court’’) entitled Ukraine v Russian Federation (X).
If the Court grants leave, this will mark the first occasion that Ireland has intervened as a third party in an inter-state case in Strasbourg, a step consistent with the Government’s wider efforts to pursue accountability for Russia’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine.
Welcoming the decision, Minister Coveney said:
“Since 24 February 2022, Ireland has been to the forefront of international efforts to support Ukraine and to ensure Russia is held accountable for its actions.
“In New York, as an elected member of the UN Security Council, we have consistently condemned the invasion as illegal, unjustified, and unprovoked. In Geneva, we pressed the Human Rights Council to appoint an independent international commission of inquiry into violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. On 2 March 2022, we joined 38 other States in referring the situation in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, enabling Prosecutor Khan to advance his critical investigations.
“As Presidency of the Committee of Ministers in Strasbourg, I have been determined to reinforce our solidarity with Ukraine at the Council of Europe.
“The Government’s decision to seek leave from the European Court of Human Rights to intervene as a third party in this important case is a tangible demonstration of that.
“The Court is regarded, rightly, as ‘‘the conscience of Europe’’. Seldom has Europe needed its conscience more.”
- The inter-state case of Ukraine v Russian Federation (X) (application no. 11055/22)concerns alleged violations of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘the Convention’) and its Protocols committed by the Russian Federation since 24 February 2022.
- Any contracting party to the Convention may seek leave from the European Court of Human Rights (‘the Court’) to intervene as a third party in a case pending before it. The Court may grant leave to intervene where it is in the interest of the proper administration of justice to do so.
- The Russian Federation will cease to be a party to the Convention on 16 September 2022, as a consequence of its expulsion from the Council of Europe on 16 March 2022. Russia remains liable for acts or omissions committed before 16 September 2022 that are capable of amounting to a violation of its obligations under the Convention.
- Ireland assumed the rotating Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 20 May 2022, a position it holds until 9 November 2022. In that role, Ireland has prioritised both support for Ukraine and for the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Convention and protected by the Strasbourg-based Court. On 14 September 2022, Ireland will chair a discussion in Strasbourg on accountability for Russian aggression in Ukraine.
- Details of the Presidency’s programme and latest news are available at www.ireland.ie/coe and www.coe.int/en/web/presidency