The International Criminal Court was born in 2002. Photo: ICC website
Western dignitaries have long figured out an ingenious way to stay afloat after resigning: they push for a position in this or that international organization, and if they don’t have one, create one.
Here are just a few examples: British Prime Minister Tony Blair once moved from Downing Street to the office of the Quartet’s special envoy for Middle East deal, another Briton, former UK Foreign Minister David Miliband , headed the International Rescue Committee. . After the presidential term ended, the Chilean Michelle Bachelet took office as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; Former Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga used to hold the post of Secretary General of the United Nations, but without her support, she did not sit idly by and she continued to spend her life as a member of the European Council for Tolerance and Mutual Respect. . But neither mutual respect in Europe, nor peace in the Middle East, nor any other notable victory for humanity has yet been seen from the activities of all these organizations…
Good to live in The Hague
In approximately the same way, in 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) was born, which in reference books is often asked not to be confused with the other – the International Court of Justice. Both sit in the Dutch Hague. Who and why needed to duplicate two international tribunals, and even locate them in one city, remained unclear. According to an unofficial version, the ICC urgently registered to employ a group of officials from two other similar international bodies that met in the same years: the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Tribunal for Rwanda (which existed comfortably at 24 and 21 (!!) year respectively).
catch and punish
The rise of the ICC was designated as the birth of the first permanent international criminal justice body, “whose jurisdiction includes the prosecution of persons responsible for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, as well as crimes of aggression.”
However, far from all countries in the world not only do not support the activities of the ICC, but also fundamentally oppose the very idea of its existence. They include the PRC, Israel, India, Iran, and many others who believe that this type of international court limits their sovereignty and gives this court indefinitely broad jurisdiction.
The Russian Federation does not recognize the ICC. Our country has not ratified the call. The Rome Statute (the treaty that established the ICC) and consequently is not a state party to the ICC, leaving it in 2016, after the governments of several states considered Russia’s annexation of Crimea an “occupation” .
And the most ardent opponent of ICC activities is… the United States. America motivates her position, first of all, with its national interests and the protection of sovereignty, as well as the protection of its military personnel. In addition, since 2002, the United States has had a special law that allows the use of military force to release US citizens detained anywhere in the world on warrants issued by the ICC. Washington has also demanded that several countries sign bilateral agreements that prohibit the parties from extraditing suspects to the ICC; In the event of violation of these agreements, the United States reserves the right to terminate support for such states.
Washington also announced sanctions against ICC employees. So, in 2020, they came forward against the ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda.
During the two decades of its existence, the ICC has registered complaints for alleged crimes in 139 countries around the world and initiated investigations in relation to… 8 situations. Everything is in Africa (Kenya, Libya, Sudanese Darfur, Uganda, etc.). Furthermore, some of the investigations ended in acquittals.
The ICC generally refused to consider high-profile cases. For example, the actions of the US army in Afghanistan.
Commenting on the issuance of the ICC arrest warrant against the President of Russia and the Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said that the ICC decisions do not they matter to Moscow. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said that Russia does not recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction.