02-02-2024

Gabija Grigaitė-Daugirdė: judgment of the International Court of Justice is another victory of justice over impunity

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has delivered a judgment on jurisdiction in the case Ukraine v. Russian Federation – the Ukraine's application seeking a judicial finding on Russia's responsibility for false allegations of genocide will be heard on the merits.

Gabija Grigaitė-Daugirdė, Vice-Minister of Justice, who attended the hearing, emphasised: “this case was opened in order to prevent russia's unjustified attempts to justify its military aggression against Ukraine by making false claims about the genocide allegedly perpetrated by the Ukrainian authorities in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. In the summer of 2022, Lithuania was one of the first to intervene, along with 31 other countries, on the side of Ukraine in order to prevent international law from being used to justify military aggression against another state. Abuse of international law must have legal consequences and responsibility”.

Today's judgment also means that the ICJ preliminary measures order of 16 March 2022 ordering Russia to immediately suspend the military operations against Ukraine remains in force. Russia's continued military aggression is a violation of the Court's order and shows russia's contempt for international law and order. Such actions by russia are already regarded as a violation of international law, for which russia will also have to bear responsibility.

According to the Vice-Minister, russia has a persistent intention to create an alternative international law that denies the sovereignty of other states and the fundamental principles of international law as agreed by the entire international community, therefore, the judgment delivered by the International Court of Justice today to hear Ukraine's application demanding russia's accountability for the false allegations of genocide is yet another victory of justice over impunity.

This case will proceed to the merits under the application of Ukraine and in accordance with the scope of jurisdiction set out in today's judgment. Lithuania and other intervening States will have the right to present their position on the merits and their supporting arguments.

Since the restoration of national independence, it is the first interference by Lithuania into ICJ proceedings.