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ICC warrant against Russia’s Putin

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: TH 

Context: South Africa is considering its legal options regarding a war crimes arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • As a member of the ICC, South Africa would be obligated to arrest Putin if he attended a summit of the BRICS countries in Johannesburg.


Why did the International Criminal Court issue the warrants?

The court says Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children since Russia’s full-scale invasion.


About International Criminal Court:

CreationEstablished under the 1998 Rome Statute as a permanent international criminal court; HQ: The Hague, the Netherlands.
Members123 countries party to the Rome Statute
PurposeInvestigates and tries individuals charged with war crimes, genocide, crime of aggression and crimes against humanity
JurisdictionCovers crimes committed on or after July 1, 2002
StructureFour main organs: Assembly of States Parties, Presidency, Judicial Divisions, and Registry
LanguagesOfficial languages: English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish
LimitationsNo police force or enforcement body; depends on state cooperation
ControversiesAccused of bias and Western imperialism; faced sanctions from the USA
Relationship with UNNot part of the United Nations system, but has a cooperation agreement with the UN
Relationship with ICJSeparate from the International Court of Justice (ICJ)
India’s Membership StatusIndia is not a party to the Rome Statute and is not a member of the ICC (along with China and USA); the USA signed the statute but never ratified it.
Reasons for Non-Membership of IndiaState sovereignty, national interests, difficulties in evidence collection and impartiality