UK government appoints top war crimes lawyer to help Ukraine on ‘journey to justice’ against Russia

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By Thomas Connelly on


Judge and Doughty Street associate tenant Sir Howard Morrison QC will act as independent adviser to war-torn country’s chief prosecutor

The UK government has called on the services of one of the country’s leading war crimes lawyers to support Ukraine’s “journey to justice” against Russia.

The Attorney General, Suella Braverman QC MP, today confirmed the appointment of Sir Howard Morrison QC as an independent adviser to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General, Iryna Venediktova.

The government said Sir Howard will provide independent and expert legal advice to Venediktova in relation to the investigation and prosecution of war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine.

On Sir Howard’s selection, the government pointed to his extensive judicial career in the UK and internationally including serving as a judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and at the International Criminal Court for over twelve years.

The 72-year-old received a knighthood in 2015 for services to international justice and the rule of law, and is an associate tenant of London human rights set Doughty Street Chambers.

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Commenting on the announcement, the Attorney General said:

“It has been a privilege to work with Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Iryna Venediktova, my admiration for her courage and determination grows with every meeting. The UK is committed to showing that the atrocities we see being committed day after day in Ukraine will not be forgotten and that those giving or following illegal orders will be tracked down and held to account.”

She continued: “I am pleased to offer Sir Howard’s expert help and I will continue to do all I can as Attorney General to support Ukraine’s journey to justice against Russia.”

Last week the US government formally accused Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine, with the secretary of state Antony Blinken stressing it is committed to pursuing accountability using “every tool available”.

“We’ve seen numerous credible reports of indiscriminate attacks and attacks deliberately targeting civilians, as well as other atrocities,” Blinken said. “Russia’s forces have destroyed apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, critical infrastructure, civilian vehicles, shopping centers, and ambulances, leaving thousands of innocent civilians killed or wounded.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously said that he believes the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin towards Ukraine already qualify as war crimes.

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