Challenges in the application of the universal jurisdiction principle in respect of cases from Belarus. Case studies from Lithuania, Germany, Poland and Czechia. Research report.
More than three years after the start of unprecedented repression in Belarus, there has been no progress in bringing perpetrators to justice. Impunity prevails, encouraging the de-facto authorities to continue and intensify their repressive policies and commit new crimes. Ensuring justice for victims of international crimes in Belarus in the national law enforcement systems of other states on the basis of the universal jurisdiction has been recommended in reports and resolutions by many inter-governmental organisations. This avenue has been hailed as an effective instrument to deal with the accountability gap. However, investigation of cases from Belarus in European countries has stumbled and faces various legal, procedural, and institutional obstacles.
In this context, iSANS has done research of the existing challenges to the effective application of the universal jurisdiction principle to cases of international crimes committed by the Lukashenka regime by studying the situation in four European states where lawsuits from victims from Belarus have been submitted. A report with the research findings has just been released. We have identified several major problems and developed 12 concrete recommendations. Our hope is that they will be seriously taken into account by all relevant actors, including government officials, law enforcement personnel, lawyers representing victims, and civil society, and will serve as a basis for further discussion and concrete action.
You can read and download the entire report at this link.