EU adopts new rules allowing Eurojust to preserve evidence of war crimes

EU adopts new rules allowing Eurojust to preserve evidence of war crimes

May 6, 2022

Today the Permanent representatives to the EU adopted a mandate on new rules to allow Eurojust to preserve, analyse and store evidence relating to core international crimes, such as war crimes.

Following Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes against humanity and war crimes have been and are being committed in Ukraine. The EU is taking all necessary measures to ensure that those who committed those crimes in Ukraine are held accountable.

Prosecution services at the International Criminal Court and in several member states, as well as in Ukraine, have started investigations concerning these events. Coordination and exchange of evidence between prosecuting authorities in different jurisdictions is important to ensure the effectiveness of these investigations. In addition, due to the ongoing hostilities there is a risk that evidence related to war crimes cannot be safely stored on the territory of Ukraine and therefore it is appropriate to establish a central storage at a safe place.

The draft new rules will allow Eurojust to:

  • store and preserve evidence related to war crimes, including satellite images, photographs, videos, audio recordings, DNA profiles and fingerprints
  • process and analyse this evidence, in close cooperation with Europol, and share it with the relevant national and international authorities, including the International Criminal Court

At the beginning of March, all EU member states, together with other partner states, decided to collectively refer the situation in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court. At the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 4 March, ministers encouraged Eurojust to fully exercise its coordinating role and to make itself available as required to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

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Press release




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