After months of lobbying from Kyiv, The International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA) has opened in The Hague, Netherlands.
The centre can be found within the building of the government agency Eurojust and has been backed by the EU and the US.
Kyiv has been lobbying for the creation of a special tribunal since hundreds of corpses were discovered after Russian troops withdrew from the town of Boutcha near the Ukrainian capital in April 2022.
International support has grown steadily, and in February the European Commission announced the creation of the ICPA.
Brussels stated that the centre’s “ultimate objective is to prosecute those responsible for the invasion” of Ukraine.
The involvement of the United States has added weight to the demand for the creation of a special court, even though Washington still refuses to become a member of the ICC.
During a visit to The Hague in June, US Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special prosecutor for the crime of aggression, Jessica Kim, as his representative to the ICPA.
The complex issue of how such a tribunal would operate remains unresolved.
Ukraine is in favour of obtaining a resolution from the United Nations General Assembly.
But some of Kyiv’s Western supporters fear that the initiative will not receive enough international support, and are instead calling for a hybrid tribunal made up of Ukrainian judges and judges of other nationalities.