Lithuania formally intervenes in a case at the International Court of Justice


2022 09 13

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Following Lithuania's formal application to intervene in the case Ukraine v. Russia at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the Minister of Justice Ewelina Dobrowolska stressed at a press conference that this step is particularly important because in this case charges are made against Russia, i.e., against the state but not against its individual citizens. 

According to Ms Dobrowolska, if Russia is held liable in this case, this fact would allow Ukraine to claim damages which is, among others, Ukraine's most important expectation that the Ukrainian Minister of Justice has been raising in all international formats. The funds received as compensation would help Ukrainians not only to rebuild the country but also to continue to defend its freedom, sovereignty and democracy.   

The Minister stressed that Lithuania is the first country to take legal aid initiatives to help Ukraine in order to ensure that justice is not delayed.  

The Vice Minister of Justice Gabija Grigaitė-Daugirdė noted at the press conference that Lithuanian lawyers are working hand-in-hand with Ukrainian lawyers seeking to strengthen Ukraine's legal struggle, to express support and to prove once again that the solutions of international law do exist; however, it is important to mobilize efforts and make use of these solutions without delay.  

The Vice-Minister stressed that under international law, the International Court of Justice is the only institution that can address issues concerning responsibility of a state. 

„All members of the United Nations are bound by the decisions of this Court, so it is very important that non-compliance with these decisions could be addressed by the United Nations Security Council or the General Assembly; this raises hopes that Russia's responsibility for the violation of international law will be established and that reparation for the damage done to Ukraine will be guaranteed", - said Ms Grigaitė-Daugirdė.  

As many as 43 European states and world powers as well as the entire EU have expressed their intention to intervene in this case at the International Court of Justice thus condemning Russia's military aggression and the international crimes Russia has committed.  

In this case, Ukraine also asked the Court to establish interim measures, and on 16 March 2022, the Court issued an order whereby it ordered to immediately cease the hostilities committed by military units that are under the direct or indirect control of Russia. Failure to comply with this judgment is a violation of international law.  

War crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russia are also investigated by the International Criminal Court. Lithuania has proposed to the international community to consider establishment of a Special Tribunal on Russia's aggression against Ukraine.