Russia’s exit from ICC:
Russia’s move to quit the International Criminal Court (ICC) is the outcome of the political undercurrents that have strained its relations with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
More ominous could be the complex consequence of the exit, the fourth nation to exit within the last two months, from the established world arbiter.
Reason for Russia’s Exit:
Russia’s announcement was predictable as a reaction to the court’s report, stating that the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine amounted to an occupation.
Moscow has denied any role by its military, maintaining that Crimea’s accession was authorised in a popular referendum.
Instances of Nations exiting from ICC:
1. South Africa’s decision to walk out of the Hague court in October symbolises its abdication of a regional leadership role.
Africa still remains hostage to traditional tribal warlords, who systematically subvert democratic institutions and squander the rich natural wealth in league with big corporations.
South Africa’s regressive step came at a time when politicians in neighbouring countries, faced with legal proceedings for perpetrating heinous crimes, have successfully projected the impression that the ICC was biased against the whole continent.
2. When Washington refused at the turn of the century to be bound by the jurisdiction of the Hague court, there were concerns that the nascent body would be left sorely wanting in legitimacy and authority.
To enforce justice beyond the barriers imposed by domestic borders is a noble aim. But its realisation is that much harder when nationalism is increasing.
What is ICC?
The International Criminal Court is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in The Hague in the Netherlands.
The ICC has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The ICC is intended to complement existing national judicial systems and it may therefore only exercise its jurisdiction when certain conditions are met, such as when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals or when the United Nations Security Council or individual states refer investigations to the Court.
The ICC began functioning in 2002, the date that the Rome Statute entered into force.