ICC Arrest warrant against Putin

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    In News

    • Recently, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for war crimes for President Vladimir Putin and a second Russian official.

    More about the news

    • The warrant is issued for the alleged war crime of unlawfully deporting and transferring children from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.
    • ICC’s warrant:
      • The court says Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children since Russia’s full-scale invasion began in February 2022. 
      • The court has also issued a warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, who has been the public face of a Kremlin-sponsored program in which Ukrainian children and teenagers have been taken to Russia.

    About International Criminal Court(ICC)

    • About:
      • The ICC is headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands.
      • It was established under a 1998 treaty called the “Rome Statute”. 
        • Previously, the United Nations Security Council had established ad hoc tribunals to address atrocities in places such as the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
    • Functions:
      • It “investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression.”
      •  The ICC can also practice its jurisdiction over cases referred by the UN Security Council to it.
    • Members:
      • Presently, 123 countries are party to the Rome Statute, including Britain, Japan, Afghanistan, and Germany. 
      • However, the USA has kept its distance, maintaining that ICC should not exercise jurisdiction over citizens of countries that are not a party to it. 
      • Similarly, India and China have also abstained from membership.
    • Need of ICC:
      • The ICC was established to prosecute the most heinous offenses only when a country’s own legal machinery fails to act, as was the case in former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. 
    • Difference between ICC & ICJ:
      • Unlike the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which deals with countries and inter-state disputes, the ICC prosecutes individuals. 
    • Limitations:
      • However, the ICC’s jurisdiction is limited to offences occurring after it came into effect on July 1, 2002.
      • Additionally, the offences should be committed either in a country that ratified the agreement or by a national of a ratifying country.
      • The court has no power to arrest sitting heads of state or bring them to trial, and instead must rely on other leaders and governments to act as its sheriffs around the world. 
        • A suspect who manages to evade capture may never have a hearing to confirm the charges.

    Independent International Commission of Inquiry Report on Ukraine

    • It is an UN-mandated investigative body.
    • Report highlights:
      • In its report dated March 16, the commission outlined the body of evidence and how it points to Russian authorities committing a “wide range of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in many regions of Ukraine and the Russian Federation.” 
        • Many of these amount to war crimes and include wilful killings, attacks on civilians, unlawful confinement, torture, rape, and forced transfers and deportations of children, the report states.
      • Contending that the Russian armed forces carried out attacks with explosives in populated areas with “an apparent disregard for civilian harm and suffering”. 
      • The report documented the indiscriminate, disproportionate attacks and failure to take precautions, thereby violating international humanitarian law.
      • The commission also found that the Russian military’s waves of attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and its use of torture could amount to crimes against humanity.
      • It also recommended further investigation to hold the responsible agents comprehensively accountable, in a way that includes both criminal responsibility and the victims’ right to truth, reparation, and non-repetition.
    • Precursor to the ICC warrants:
      • Based on more than 500 interviews, satellite images, and visits to detention sites and graves, the report served as an immediate precursor to the ICC warrants.

    Source: TH