The Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group (ACA)
- The ACA is a multilateral initiative established by the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom to provide strategic advice and operational assistance to Ukraine’s Office of the Prosecutor General (OPG) in the investigation and prosecution of atrocity crimes in Ukraine (https://www.state.gov/launch-of-the-atrocity-crimes-advisory-group-aca-for-ukraine).
- Launched in May 2022, the ACA is intended to streamline multinational efforts to encourage the expeditious deployment of financial resources and skilled personnel to respond to the needs of the OPG as the legally constituted authority in Ukraine responsible for the prosecution of war crimes in its own territory.
- The ACA consists of two key components: the Prosecutorial Support Unit (PSU) and the Mobile Justice Teams (MJTs). The PSU provides expert advice to the OPG on international humanitarian law, guidance on the building of case files, expert opinions and overall direction on the prosecution of domestic cases. The MJTs serve a rapid response function by providing expert advice to Ukrainian investigators situated in the field. ACA includes specialists from Europe, the U.S, and the UK, and includes war crimes investigators, international prosecutors, military analysts, conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) experts, etc.
- The ACA’s activities are based in Kyiv, but will expand to other parts of the country as security conditions allow. At the request of the OPG, ACA will open three field offices in Kharkiv, Dnipro, and Odessa to enable support to regional prosecutors on the front lines. Expert Working Groups (EWGs) are already being established in the fields of Crimes against Children, CRSV, Genocide, Case Reviews, Investigations and Military Analysis.
- The ACA is funded, from the U.S. side, by the Office of Global Criminal Justice (GCJ) via a $10 million grant to Georgetown University, the lead Secretariat of ACA. The ACA is led by Clint Williamson (US Amb., ret). GCJ anticipates an additional $15 million grant to be made available to provide continued assistance to the OPG, as well as to support closely related accountability initiatives by key partners and organizations, pending allocation and authorization.
- GCJ is led by the Ambassador at Large for Global Criminal Justice, Beth van Schaack, and leads on ACA engagement for State and the U.S. government generally. GCJ specializes in policy related to prevention and accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
- The ACA is not intended to exercise executive law enforcement authority but serve solely in an advisory and supporting role to the OPG in a manner that does not conflict with the work of joint investigative teams (JIT), the ICC, Eurojust, Europol, or other international bodies.