Russia’s ICC pull-out – Russia has finally made its stand with the International Criminal Court clear. Russia has withdrawn its signature from the Roman Statute.
Russia has never really been in sync with the international legal body as there have been calls to investigate Russia’s presence in Syria. Co-world leaders have openly accused Putin of devastating what is left of Aleppo with airstrikes.
Before now he has been accused of perpetrating crimes that the International Criminal Court are particularly against- war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.
Giving his reasons for the withdrawal, Vladimir Putin says that the legal body has failed in its duties and expectations in the international community. He says the ICC has sadly become “one-sided and inefficient”.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson “the International Criminal Court has not justified hopes placed upon it and did not become a truly independent and authoritative judicial body.”
The Ministry went on to say that the 14-year old international legal body has expended as much as $1 billion and has passed “only four verdicts”.
In recent times, 3 African countries left the ICC- South Africa, Gambia and Burundi. Perhaps it is rather a coincidence that the leaders of these countries have dictatorial and controversial tendencies.
More than Russia’s pull out from ICC, the withdrawal of African countries poses more threat and concern. On the other hand, African member states have accused the body of overly focusing on Africa, thus making its pursuits one-sided.
Russia is not the only country that has not ratified the ICC statute. Egypt, Iran and Israel signed the treaty but did not ratify the agreement. In other words, these countries cannot be prosecuted by the court.
Countries like the United States, India, China and some other Middle Eastern states have not signed the treaty.
The ICC was set up to check the excesses of world leaders as it affects the security, life and welfare of the people.
With regards to Russia’s ICC pull-out and several others, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, says that there are ulterior motives behind the actions of the leaders of these countries.
“We are not convinced their position is based entirely on principle. Quite the opposite: it appears to aim more at protecting their leaders from prosecution.”
“By withdrawing from the Rome Statute, leaders may shield themselves with immunities – but it will be at the cost of depriving their people of the protection of a unique and essential institution.”
Russia’s ICC pull-out indicates that there will not be ties between the country and the international court anytime in the future.