putin's arrest: What are the legal consequences of the ICC decision?

putin's arrest: What are the legal consequences of the ICC decision?

And what russia will do to avoid complying with it

putin's arrest: What are the legal consequences of the ICC decision?
Photo: depositphotos.com

Last week, the International Criminal Court in the Hague issued an arrest warrant for putin. It is not the first such court decision against a dictator. However, discussions in society have already begun on how the decision against the russian president can be implemented. For its part, the russian government, of course, has reacted to this decision by stating that no one is going to comply with it. Tetiana Ignatenko, a lawyer, expert on the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) and judicial practice, and certified mediator, told Mind about the legal consequences of such a precedent for both putin and Ukraine.

Read about the Western analysts’ point of view in the Mind article Message from The Hague: putin's arrest warrant could be the war’s turning point. What did the West want to convey and to whom?

What are the legal consequences of The Hague Tribunal's ruling, or is it more of a PR stunt by Western diplomacy following the 'deep concern'?

Issuing an arrest warrant for putin is a significant international political decision and is an indicator that the world recognizes putin and his associates as involved in international crimes increasing their isolation.

The arrest warrant indicates that the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has reasonable grounds to believe that putin has committed a crime within the jurisdiction of the ICC, and that his arrest is therefore necessary (Article 58 of the Rome Statute of the ICC).

Of course, russia itself and its political leaders do not recognize the decision to arrest putin, arguing that their country is not a party to the Rome Statute and therefore all ICC proceedings and decisions do not apply to them.

However, it does not matter, because if putin crosses the border of one of the 123 states that have ratified the Rome Statute and recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC, that state must arrest putin. Otherwise, it will have a negative image consequence for such a country, as it will indicate support for putin and his regime.

Criminal prosecution of a head of state is a quite serious step at the international level. Undoubtedly, it is a great job of Ukrainian and international lawyers to collect evidence of the criminal actions of putin and his circle.

Under what conditions is it possible to bring putin to justice under the ICC's decision?

To bring putin and his henchmen to real accountability, they must be present at the ICC.

However, we all understand that putin will not appear in court voluntarily, and therefore will only remain an 'international pariah'. Hopes that an arrest warrant will stop putin's aggression are, of course, in vain. Moreover, all of this may provoke him to even greater aggression.

If we talk about the 'ideal' measure of responsibility for putin's crimes, the most severe sentence imposed by the ICC is life imprisonment.

What are the real examples of such cases in recent history, and what decisions have been made?

A case of the ICC issuing an arrest warrant for a head of state is the decision regarding the President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir. He was accused of genocide.

However, the warrant was never executed, and the Sudanese president continued to travel abroad.

Information is circulating on the Internet that the trips were also made to countries that have ratified the Rome Statute. If this is true, the question arises as to why these countries have not arrested the President of Sudan.

Perhaps this should be brought up in order to truly understand the reality of the ICC warrant if putin does dare to cross the border of one of the 123 countries.

One of the examples of such proceedings is the case of the former Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milošević, who The Hague Tribunal has charged with several war crimes.

At the same time, Milošević was transferred to The Hague Tribunal by the decision of the government of the former Yugoslavia. However, the verdict was never passed because Milošević died in prison of a heart attack, and the case was closed.

Another well-known case in the world is that of the former Bosnian Croat general Slobodan Praljak. However, the general never served his sentence in accordance with the ICC verdict – he committed suicide by drinking poison during a court hearing of the tribunal, which was considering an appeal against the verdict sentencing Praljak to 20 years in prison.

As we can see, committing crimes without serving a sentence leads to a negative end in any case. Therefore, all the conclusions and ridicule of russian figures regarding putin's arrest warrant will not go unnoticed by the aggressor state.

The OpenMind authors, as a rule, are invited experts and contributors who prepare the material on request of our editors. Yet, their point of view may not coincide with that of the Mind editorial team.

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