Pubblicato in: Giustizia, Politica Mondiale

Anche la Russia abbandona la International Criminal Court.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2016-11-17.

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«The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) 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 on 1 July 2002, the date that the Rome Statute entered into force. The Rome Statute is a multilateral treaty which serves as the ICC’s foundational and governing document. States which become party to the Rome Statute, for example by ratifying it, become member states of the ICC. Currently, there are 124 states which are party to the Rome Statute and therefore members of the ICC.» [Fonte]

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Non deve essere confusa con l’International Court of Justice.

«The International Court of Justice (French: Cour internationale de justice; commonly referred to as the World Court or ICJ) is the primary judicial branch of the United Nations (UN). Seated in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, the court settles legal disputes submitted to it by states and provides advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international branches, agencies, and the UN General Assembly.

Established in 1945 by the UN Charter, the Court began work in 1946 as the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice. The Statute of the International Court of Justice, similar to that of its predecessor, is the main constitutional document constituting and regulating the Court.

The Court’s workload covers a wide range of judicial activity. After the court ruled that the United States’s covert war against Nicaragua was in violation of international law (Nicaragua v. United States), the United States withdrew from compulsory jurisdiction in 1986 to accept the court’s jurisdiction only on a case-by-case basis. Chapter XIV of the United Nations Charter authorizes the UN Security Council to enforce Court rulings. However, such enforcement is subject to the veto power of the five permanent members of the Council, which the United States used in the Nicaragua case.»

Si noti come la versione in lingua italiana di Wikipedia ometta completamente la vertenza Usa – Nicaragua.

Si noti anche come gli Stati Uniti

«withdrew from compulsory jurisdiction in 1986 to accept the court’s jurisdiction only on a case-by-case basis»

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Nel mondo ci sono 206 stati, dei quali 196 sono riconosciuti essere sovrani. 193 stati sono membri delle Nazioni Unite.

Ma solo 124, 123 sarebbe meglio dire, riconoscono il valore legale dell’International Criminal Court.

Quindi, essere “Corte Internazionale” non significa automaticamente che essa sia universalmente accettata.

Sicuramente possono esservi motivazioni politiche alla base di accettare o meno un simile autorità, ma il problema sembrerebbe essere ben più profondo.

Se un Tribunale si definisce “Court of Justice“, dovrebbe agire secondo giustizia. Ma la giustizia è una ed una soltanto. È oggettiva, non relativa.

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Bene, la International Criminal Court ha ripetutamente dimostrato di essere pacchianamente faziosa sia nelle incriminazioni sia nei verdetti.

Non a caso si sta assistendo ad un numero sempre crescente di nazioni che non ne riconoscono più la autorità: nè giuridica né, soprattutto, morale.

È una istituzione oramai largamente screditata.

«In recent months, three African countries who were all full members of the ICC – South Africa, Burundi and Gambia – have signalled their intention to pull out, following complaints that ICC prosecutions focused excessively on the African continent»

Non stupisce quindi che la Russia abbia compiuto il passo di ritirarsi completamente da simile istituzione.


Guardian. 2016-11-16. Russia withdraws signature from international criminal court statute

Tribunal has not lived up to hopes of international community, Moscow says, day after ICC report on Crimea annexation.

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Russia has said it is formally withdrawing its signature from the founding statute of the international criminal court, a day after the court published a report classifying the Russian annexation of Crimea as an occupation.

The repudiation of the tribunal, though symbolic, is a fresh blow to efforts to establish a global legal order for pursuing genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In recent months, three African countries who were all full members of the ICC – South Africa, Burundi and Gambia – have signalled their intention to pull out, following complaints that ICC prosecutions focused excessively on the African continent.

The Russian foreign ministry made the announcement on Wednesday on the orders of the president, Vladimir Putin, saying the tribunal had failed to live up to hopes of the international community and denouncing its work as “one-sided and inefficient”.

Russia signed the Rome statute in 2000 and cooperated with the court, but had not ratified the treaty and thus remained outside the ICC’s jurisdiction. This means that the latest move, though highly symbolic, will not change much in practice.

“This is a symbolic gesture of rejection, and says a lot about Russia’s attitude towards international justice and institutions,” said Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch (HRW). “On a practical level it will not make much difference, but it is a statement of direction: it shows that Russia no longer has any intention of ratifying the treaty in future or of cooperating with the court.”

In January, the Russian foreign ministry said it would reconsider its attitude to the court after rulings on the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia.

At the time, the foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said: “Russia stood at the origins of the ICC’s founding, voted for its establishment and has always cooperated with the agency. Russia hoped that the ICC will become an important factor in consolidating the rule of law and stability in international relations.

“Unfortunately, to our mind, this did not happen. In this regard, and in the light of the latest decision, the Russian federation will be forced to fundamentally review its attitude towards the ICC.”

On Tuesday, the court, which is based in The Hague, published a report that recognised the annexation of Crimea as a military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and classified it as an occupation.

“According to information received, the situation in the Crimea and Sevastopol is equivalent to the international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian federation,” a preliminary report from the ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda stated.

“The Russian federation employed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the territory of Ukraine without the consent of the government of Ukraine.”

Russia has insisted that Crimea voluntarily joined Russia after a referendum, but international observers say the referendum was hastily organised, did not meet international standards, and was conducted as Russian troops swept through the peninsula. Having initially denied vehemently that Russian troops were involved in the takeover, Putin later admitted it.

Russia may also be concerned about ICC jurisdiction in Syria, where its forces have been repeatedly accused of carrying out war crimes in recent months. HRW and other organisations have called for the ICC to investigate events in Syria.

The ICC has struggled to obtain widespread international acceptance. The US, India and China as well as most Middle Eastern states have declined to ratify the Rome statute which established the court.

About 120 countries, mainly smaller states, have ratified the treaty. The UK is a member of the ICC. The resurgence of nationalist politics, apparent in Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidential election victory, suggests the tide may be turning against international legal institutions.

A spokesperson for the ICC said on Wednesday: “Membership of the Rome Statute is a voluntary and sovereign decision which is the prerogative of all States. Russia signed the Rome Statute in 2000 but did not ratify it and is not a State party. The ICC is respectful of each States’ sovereignty.

“The support of the international community is necessary for the ICC to fulfil its independent and impartial mandate to help end impunity for the perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, provide justice to the victims of such crimes and contribute to the prevention of future atrocities.”

Speaking on Wednesday at the annual assembly in The Hague of states parties signed up to the Rome Statute, Fatou Bensouda, the court’s chief prosecutor, said she deplored recent withdrawals from the Rome Statute. “Any act that may undermine the global movement towards greater accountability for atrocity crimes and a ruled-based international order in this new century is surely – when objectively viewed – regrettable,” she said.

The ICC’s president, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, who is an Argentinian, said: “The court has continued to do the work for which it was created and has made significant achievements in addressing crimes of concern to the international community as a whole such as the use of child soldiers, sexual violence in conflict, attacks on civilians and the destruction of cultural property.

Mark Ellis, director of the International Bar Association, said:“Russia’s decision to ‘withdraw’ its signature from the Rome Statute will have little or no impact on the court. Contrary to the government’s statement, Russia has never engaged with the court in any meaningful way and, in fact, has violated the prohibited crimes provisions of the Statute through its military actions in both Georgia and Ukraine. The more serious threat to the [ICC] is the withdrawal of African countries. Unless this alarming tide can be reversed, the court’s own legitimacy will be in peril.”

International criminal justice, she added, is “a long-term project” and should remain a top priority “in order to bring perpetrators of crimes to justice and protect victims across the world equally”.


Aljazeera. 2016-11-16. Russia pulls out from International Criminal Court

Moscow’s decision follows UN report on Russian rights abuses and discrimination in Crimea.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to withdraw Russia from the International Criminal Court (ICC), which prosecutes war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

Russia in 2000 signed the Rome treaty which established the Hague-based court, but never ratified it.

Putin’s decree, published on the Kremlin’s website on Wednesday, comes a day after the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee approved a resolution condemning Russia’s “temporary occupation of Crimea”, and blamed Moscow for rights abuses and discrimination against some Crimean residents, such as Tatars.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, said the withdrawal is based on “national interests” and argued that since Russia never ratified the creation of the court, Wednesday’s decree was just a formality.

Peskov also dismissed the ICC’s accusations of an “armed conflict” in Crimea, arguing that Crimea joined Russia after a legitimate popular vote.

Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014 from Ukraine after a hastily called referendum, a move that led to crippling Western sanctions.

A separatist armed conflict later erupted in eastern Ukraine the following month, backed by Russia.

On Monday, the ICC issued a preliminary report in which it described what happened in Crimea as “an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation”.

Russia’s foreign ministry insisted in a statement that Russia wants everyone implicated in grave international crimes to face justice but expressed frustration over the court’s work in recent years.

“The court has unfortunately failed to match the hopes one had and did not become a truly independent and respected body of international justice,” the ministry said, adding that in the ICC’s 14 years of work “only four verdicts” have been passed, while $1bn was spent on expenses.

Major pushback

Just hours before Russia’s announcement, the UN human rights chief made a spirited defence of the ICC, entreating countries not to leave it.

The tribunal is already facing a major pushback from African countries, who say it’s a Western institution focused on trying nations from the continent.

Burundi was the first country to withdraw in October. Three days later, South Africa also announced that it planned to leave the ICC, followed by Gambia. 

The ICC has been investigating cases against Sudanese and Kenyan leaders, and issued an arrest warrant against Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir.

The ICC was established in 1998 and has over 100 member states. 

It is the world’s first permanent court mandated to bring to justice people responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.


The Moscow Times. 2016-11-16. Russia to Withdraw From the International Criminal Court

Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a decree for Russia to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The president’s decree, published on an official portal for legal information, says to “accept the proposal of the Russian Ministry of Justice in agreement with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other federal bodies of executive power, along with the Russian Supreme Court, the General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation and the Russian Investigative Committee, about sending the Secretary General of the United Nations notice of the intention of the Russian Federation to no longer be a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.”

The decree will take effect once it has been signed. 

The Rome Statute is the treaty which established the International Criminal Court. Russia originally signed the treaty in 2000. 

On Tuesday, the ICC released a decision recognizing the existence of an international armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which also classified Russia’s presence in the Crimean peninsula as a military occupation. 

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