Ireland is among 80 countries that have adopted an international agreement aimed at facilitating the investigation and prosecution of serious international crimes.
The Ljubljana-Hague Convention will provide for greater international co-operation in the investigation and prosecution of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other international crimes.
The agreement, reached in Slovenia on Friday (26 May), covers extradition and mutual legal assistance in the collection of evidence and interview of witnesses. The convention has a focus on victims’ rights.
The Slovenian government described the agreement as the first major treaty in the field of international criminal law since the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
‘Fight against impunity’
Micheál Martin (Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, pictured) said that Ireland was deeply committed to ensuring that those responsible for the most serious international crimes were held accountable.
“By supporting investigations and prosecutions, this convention further strengthens the fight against impunity for these crimes,” he said.
Minister for Justice Simon Harris said that, given the nature of such crimes, suspects, victims, witnesses and evidence often crossed borders.
“It is therefore paramount to ensure effective international legal co-operation at the global level,” he stated.
The initiative, the full title of which is the Convention on International Cooperation in the Investigation and Prosecution of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes and Other International Crimes, was first proposed in 2011, and negotiations began shortly afterwards.
It will be subject to national ratification procedures.