ICC Issues Arrest Warrant for Vladimir Putin | 20 Mar 2023

For Prelims: ICC, ICJ, United Nation Security Council.

For Mains: Important International institutions.

Why in News?

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for war crimes for President Vladimir Putin and a second Russian official.

Why did the ICC Issue an Arrest Warrant against Putin?

  • ICC issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin for the alleged war crime of unlawfully deporting and transferring children from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.

What is ICC?

  • On 17 July, 1998 Rome Statute was adopted by 120 States in direction of creating a more just world.
  • On 1 July, 2002 Rome Statute took effect upon ratification by 60 states, officially establishing the ICC. Since it has no retroactive jurisdiction, the ICC deals with crimes committed on or after this date.
  • The Rome Statute, grants the ICC jurisdiction over four main crimes:
    • The crime of Genocide
    • Crimes against Humanity
    • War crimes
    • Crime of Aggression
  • The Court is participating in a global fight to end lawlessness, and through international criminal justice, the Court aims to hold those responsible accountable for their crimes and to help prevent these crimes from happening again.
  • The ICC is the world’s first permanent international criminal court.
  • Currently, 123 countries are party to the Rome Statute, India is not a party to Rome Statute along with US and China.
  • The ICC was established to prosecute the most heinous offenses only when a country’s own legal machinery fails to act. Unlike the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which deals with countries and inter-state disputes, the ICC prosecutes individuals.

How is ICC Different from ICJ?

  • Unlike the International Court of Justice, the ICC is not part of the United Nations system, with the UN-ICC relationship being governed by a separate agreement.
  • The ICJ, which is among the UN’s 6 principal organs, mainly hears disputes between nations. It was established in 1945 and is seated at The Hague (Netherlands).

Does the ICC have the Power to Prosecute Russia?

  • As of March 2023, Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute, and therefore, the ICC has no jurisdiction over crimes committed on its territory. However, the ICC can investigate and prosecute crimes committed by individuals from other countries who committed the alleged crimes on the territory of a state party to the Rome Statute.
  • Ukraine is also not a State Party to the Rome Statute”, but it has twice exercised its options to accept ICC’s jurisdiction over alleged crimes under the Rome Statute, occurring on its territory, under Article 12(3) of the Statute.
    • Article 12(3) states that if the acceptance of a state that is not a party to the statute, the state may accept the jurisdiction of the court for a crime concerned, by making a declaration to the Registrar and cooperating without any delay or exception.

Source: IE