The refusal of the excess of obligations: Russia withdrew from the jurisdiction of the ICC

MOSCOW, 16 Oct — RIA Novosti. Moscow has decided to refuse participation in the Rome Statute of the International criminal court (ICC), the corresponding order of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin was published on the official portal of legal information. Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov explained that this is due to the national interests of the Russian Federation.

Russian parliamentarians and experts believe justified and logical Moscow’s refusal from participation in the Rome Statute, noting that the Russian authorities have decided to go the way of failure from excessive international obligations which do not comply with other important players in the international arena.

The RF output from the jurisdiction of the court occurred against the background of published report of the ICC to the Crimea, which the Hague Tribunal has classified the situation in Crimea and the Donbas as an international military conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The Kremlin has called the wording of this report contradict reality and noted that the RF output from the jurisdiction of the court in any way connected with them.

The Rome Statute, which entered into force in 2002, is the basis of the ICC. RF international agreement signed in 2000, but still not ratified. Thus, in Russia as well as USA, China, Ukraine and some other countries, the jurisdiction of international justice does not apply.

National interests require the

Press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the decision to refuse participation in the Rome Statute, said that it is due to the national interests of Russia.

“This is the position taken by the country, guided by national interests,” — said Peskov.

With this point of view, joint Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on constitutional legislation Andrey Klishas.

“The order of the President of the Russian Federation corresponds with the provisions of the Constitution and acts of international legal regulation, as any sovereign state determines, a party to any international agreements it is the jurisdiction of any international bodies, it admits,” Klishas told RIA Novosti.

The head of the Committee stressed that the issue of recognition of the jurisdiction of an organ of international justice should be resolved independently by the authorities of each state that when deciding about participation in a binding international agreement should take into account its own national interests.

Did not authoritative and independent

The Russian foreign Ministry, commenting on the decision, noted that over the 14 years of the ICC and has not managed to become independent and authoritative body.

“The ICC is the first permanent body of international criminal justice was closely related to the expectations of the international community in combating impunity in the context of the overall efforts to maintain international peace and security, settlement of existing conflicts and prevent new hotbeds of tension”, — reads the statement of the Russian foreign Ministry issued on Wednesday.

The foreign Ministry of Russia stated with regret that the ICC has not met the expectations of the international community.

“Unfortunately, the court did not justify the hopes assigned to him and became a truly independent, respected body of international justice. In principle at various venues, including in the General Assembly and the UN Security Council, noted the inefficient and one-sided work of the court in the framework of the investigated cases. A meaningful fact in 14 years of operation, the ICC has issued only 4 sentence, spending with more than $ 1 billion,” — said the Russian foreign Ministry.

While the foreign Ministry stressed that “Russia has consistently advocated the bringing to justice of perpetrators of most serious international crimes.”

The statement also says that Russia cannot be indifferent to the attitude of the ICC to the events of August 2008.

“The attack of the regime of Mikhail Saakashvili on peaceful Tskhinvali, killing Russian peacekeepers gave rise to the ICC accusations against the South Ossetian militias and Russian soldiers. The eventual investigation of the actions and orders of Georgian officials purposefully left to the discretion of the Georgian justice remains out of the focus of attention of the Prosecutor of the ICC. Such a reversal speaks for itself. In such circumstances, one can hardly speak about the credibility of the International criminal court”, — stressed the foreign Ministry.

No excessive obligations

According to the Senator, Alexei Pushkov, Russia’s refusal from participation in the Rome Statute of the ICC is logical, since it implies the rejection of excessive international obligations are not respected and several other leading countries.

“Russia is on the path of failure from excessive international commitments in the past and did not comply with a number of other leading countries. It is logical,” — wrote Pushkov in his microblog on Twitter.

According to him, “Putin’s decision about the refusal of the Rome Statute of the ICC means that Russia withdraws the signature under it and does not recognize its jurisdiction — like the US and China”.

The Senator also told reporters that in the 1990s — early 2000-ies Russia has undertaken a number of international obligations which, as it turned out, were not going to take over many other countries, including major powers.

“Russia is thereby indicated their desire to participate in the creation of a unified system of international law. But it turned out that the US and its allies were not prepared to go on the same path and did not consider themselves bound by its norms. This is evidenced by the war with the USA and NATO in Yugoslavia, the occupation of Iraq, the NATO war in Libya and other acts committed in violation of international law,” he explained.

According to him, up to the present time, the United States and several other countries not acceded to the Rome Statute of the ICC. “Russia, as you know, signed the Rome Statute but not ratified it due to the above reasons. The order of the President means that Russia withdraws its signature under this document and refused to ratify it, which means the non-recognition by Russia of the jurisdiction of the ICC,” — said the MP.

The world was not ready

Associate Professor of the Department of state and legal disciplines of Institute of public administration and management, Ranepa Kira Sazonova said that the decision of Russia not to become party to the Rome Statute of the International criminal court (ICC) is understandable.

“It is clear that the ICC for a number of reasons — the politicization of decisions, limited competence, no reservations in the Rome Statute, the limitations of participants, and so on — and could not justify the hopes that were pinned on it. In this context, Russia’s decision not to become party to the ICC is understandable and justified,” said Sazonov RIA Novosti.

According to her, the fact that Russia has signed, but later refused to ratify the Rome Statute, suggests that the assessment of the activities of the ICC took a certain time. The existing stage of development of international relations were simply not ready for such a body, like the ICC, he said.

“This is a good example of when international law ahead of international relations, which led to discrediting the undertaking as a whole,” added Sazonova.

The rights of Russians will not suffer

Interviewed by RIA Novosti lawyers agree that Russia’s refusal from participation in the Rome Statute will not affect the life of the country and the rights of the Russians.

“The objective for Russia in this case nothing changes, because in the past has not ratified the Rome Statute, it has never officially been a state party to the international criminal court. In any case, you need to understand that, given that the competence of the court is quite narrow (only crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes), it is unlikely that the final rejection of the ratification of the Rome Statute will have a significant impact on the rights of Russians”, — considers, in particular, the lawyer Andrei Grivtsov.

He also recalled that not all countries recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC, including the United States.

“The main claim by these countries to the ICC is that it can violate the sovereignty of States and adversely affect the rights of citizens”, — said the defender.


Meanwhile, some time later, after it was published the decree of the President of the Russian Federation on refusal from participation in the Rome Statute, it became known that the Prosecutor of the ICC Fatou Bensouda has compared the annexation of Crimea to the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Crimea became a Russian region after held there in March 2014 referendum in which 96.77% of voters of the Republic of Crimea and 95.6% of residents of Sevastopol voted for joining Russian Federation. Crimean authorities held a referendum after a coup in Ukraine in February 2014. Ukraine still considers Crimea its but temporarily occupied territory. The Russian leadership has repeatedly stated that the inhabitants of Crimea democratically in full compliance with international law and the UN Charter voted for reunification with Russia. According to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, the Crimea issue “is closed permanently.”

“According to sources, the situation on the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol, equivalent to the international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. The international armed conflict began no later than 26 February (2014) when the Russian Federation has mobilized the personnel of their armed forces to gain control over parts of Ukraine without the consent of the government of Ukraine”, — is spoken in the report published on the website of the ICC.

Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the report, noted that the wording of the Hague Tribunal, who likened the events in Crimea and the Donbass in a military conflict between Ukraine and Russia, contrary to reality, however, the RF output from the jurisdiction of the court in any way connected with them.

“No. You know that the Russian Federation de jure and was not under the jurisdiction of the court. In this case it is just formalization, because you know that there is a document been signed, but not ratified. But this formulation is, of course, it completely contradicts reality, it contradicts our position, and most importantly, it is contrary to the position stated in the referendum the citizens of Crimea when they made the decision on joining of the Russian Federation”, — said Peskov told reporters.

The same thing, according to him, true of language on the Donbas.

“This is absolutely not true. This is contrary to reality because, in fact, Donbass — a civil war in Ukraine is the Ukrainian domestic conflict”, — said the press Secretary of the Russian President.

Russia’s refusal from participation in the Rome Statute and the publication of the report of the ICC to the Crimea occurred against the backdrop of the upcoming consideration of the UNGA resolution on “human rights violations” in the Crimea, initiated by Ukraine.

“I do not think that these decisions are synchronized (in the Crimea). No court decisions, there are no legal consequences. This report is the personal opinion of the Prosecutor of the court, may it is a personal opinion”, — said the speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko.