Day of International Criminal Justice: Statement by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union
July 17, 2023
Access to justice is a fundamental human right. On 17 July, we acknowledge the importance of upholding and defending the system of international criminal justice as an essential tool of the international community to promote peace and security and protect the rights of the victims.
As war rages on the European continent with Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine, and in other regions of the world, including Sudan, Yemen, and Syria, a resilient and robust system of international criminal justice that can address the gravest and most shocking crimes is essential. We must stand firmly together in our commitment to holding those who perpetrate atrocities accountable for their actions.
This year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This was a major step forward in the global fight against impunity. The ICC is the first permanent criminal judicial institution of universal character established to prosecute the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. As confirmed by the Council Conclusions of June 2023, we reaffirm our unwavering support for the Court, as an independent and impartial judicial institution. We renew our commitment to our obligations under the Rome Statute and our determination to defend the ICC against any attempt to undermine its work and any threats against it and its staff.