Toothless World Court Issues Arrest Warrants Against Russian President Putin
Since Russia does not recognize the ICC jurisdiction, it has refused to acknowledge the arrest warrants saying that they are nothing more than “toilet paper.”
The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued on March 17 warrants of arrest for two individuals in the context of the situation in Ukraine: Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Ms Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova.
President of the Russian Federation Putin, 71, is accused of war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation (under articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute).
The crimes were allegedly committed in Ukrainian occupied territory at least from 24 February 2022. According to ICC, there are reasonable grounds to believe that Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes, (i) for having committed the acts directly, jointly with others and/or through others (article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute), and (ii) for his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts, or allowed for their commission, and who were under his effective authority and control, pursuant to superior responsibility (article 28(b) of the Rome Statute).
Ms Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, 38, Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, is also accused of the same crime.
Since Russia does not recognize the ICC jurisdiction, it has refused to acknowledge the arrest warrants saying that they are nothing more than “toilet paper.” Although the 123 ICC member states are supposed to arrest Putin and Maria Alekseyevna when they visit these nations, it is highly unlikely that the warrants will be enforced.
The Hague-based ICC is a toothless court as it does not have any power to get its decisions implemented by various member states. Therefore, the warrants of arrest are meaningless without any consequence for Putin and Maria Alekseyevna.
The warrants of arrests were issued pursuant to the applications submitted by the Prosecution on 22 February 2023.
Meanwhile, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine also said in a new report released on March 16 that the Russian authorities have committed a wide range of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in various regions of Ukraine, many of which amount to war crimes.
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