Meeting of legal advisers as part of the quadrilateral meeting between Slovenia, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland
In the framework of the quadrilateral meeting between Slovenia, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, Acting Director-General of the Directorate for International Law and Protection of Interests, Dr Marko Rakovec, hosted the meeting of legal advisers. This was the first meeting at the level of legal advisers in the quadrilateral format, which has been held at deputy foreign ministers level since 2011.
The participants welcomed the format of the meeting and agreed that, in view of the many international legal challenges facing the international community, the legal advisers of the ministries can make an important contribution to strengthening international cooperation between the countries of the Alpine Arc, which share common goals and values.
Particularly with regard to Russia's aggression against Ukraine, they agreed on the importance of ensuring accountability for international crimes, with the International Criminal Court playing a central role. The ICC does not have the jurisdiction to try those responsible for the crime of aggression, which is why the creation of such a mechanism is being discussed. There was consensus that the establishment of a tribunal would provide the legitimacy and effectiveness needed to ensure full accountability for the worst atrocities committed in Ukraine. However, its legal basis would need to be carefully defined.
They also discussed the issue of the use of frozen assets and proceedings in international courts.
Slovenia gave an update on the progress of the preparations for the forthcoming diplomatic conference to negotiate the MLA Convention, which will take place in Ljubljana from 15 to 26 May 2023. The purpose of the Convention is to establish a legal framework for inter-State cooperation on international mutual legal assistance and extradition in respect of international crimes, and to serve as a legal instrument for the prosecution of offenders by national judicial authorities.
The debate also touched on issues discussed in the UN General Assembly Sixth Committee (Legal) and the relevance of international humanitarian law in times of armed conflict, particularly in the light of discussions in the UN Security Council.
The meeting concluded with a commitment to continue holding quadrilateral meetings in this format.