BRUSSELS - Families of the 298 passengers and crew on board Flight MH17 can seek justice at the European Court of Human Rights.
Human Rights Court Judge Angelika Nuberger said they could make an application by furnishing full details of the tragedy as required under Court Rule 47 in writing or via their lawyers to the court in Strasbourg, France.
The court comes under the Council of Europe.
She said although Malaysia was not a member of the Council of Europe, the parties responsible for shooting down the airline in Ukraine involved Russia, which is a member.
It was reported that pro-Russian separatists shot down the plane using a Buk surface-to-air missile fired from the territory which they controlled.
The Russians, however, blamed the Ukrainian government.
"Since investigations are still ongoing to determine those responsible directly or indirectly, the families can make an application for the case to be heard at the Human Rights Court," Angelika said during a briefing with Asian journalists at workshops on the European Union And Its Relations With Asia.
Angelika said when a judgment finding a violation became final, the Court would forward the file to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which would be responsible for monitoring the execution of the judgments.
She said all cases would be examined, adding that over 50,000 applications were received annually.
In Sungai Petani, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the Prime Minister would be stating the country's stand in seeking justice for the downed aircraft at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
He said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would be bringing the voices of the Malaysian people regarding the tragedy to an international level.
"The Government will ensure that those who perished did not die in vain," he told reporters after opening the Sungai Petani Umno delegates meeting here yesterday.
Malaysia would bring the culprits responsible to justice, said Hishammuddin.
"I don't think there's anyone who can deny our right to do that," he said. "When I met the leaders of Ukraine, Russia and the Netherlands recently, all of them agreed in getting justice for MH17."
Hishammuddin said it was due to Najib's efforts that the bodies of those killed could be recovered and returned to their families.