International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin over Ukraine ‘war crimes’

Source: The post is based on the article “International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin over Ukraine ‘war crimes’” published in The Hindu on 18th March 2023

What is the News?

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

What is the International Criminal Court (ICC)?

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Why did the International Criminal Court issued the warrants?

ICC says the Russian President bears individual criminal responsibility for the abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children since Russia’s full-scale invasion began in February last year.

Will the Russian President face trial now?

There are at least three big obstacles to that. 

Firstly, ICC 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.

Secondly, Russia does not recognise the jurisdiction of the ICC. The court was established in 2002 by a treaty known as the Rome Statute.

– This statute lays down that it is the duty of every state to exercise its own criminal jurisdiction over those responsible for international crimes. The ICC can only intervene where a state is unable or unwilling to carry out the investigation and prosecute perpetrators.

– In all, 123 states have agreed to abide by it, but there are some significant exceptions, including Russia.

Thirdly, although it’s not unknown for trials to be held without the defendant in the dock, that’s not an option here. The ICC does not conduct trials in absentia of the defendant.

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