September 30, 2022



8 min read

KIANA KARIMI AND LIAM ROGERS WRITE — What a scene: White, Blue, and Purple stripes encapsulate a Moscow stadium with a crowd roaring in cheers and clad in Z’s giving a grand welcome to a celebration of “unity” whereas awaiting the illustrious dictator himself, President Vladimir Putin. The Russian authorities threw a grand fête to masks the humanitarian crises and genocide they dedicated. The latter is seemingly farcical to outdoors spectators — as an illustration, Oleg Gazmanov, a Russian singer, performs an affordable parody of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” with a touch of Hannah Montana’s “Better of Each Worlds” to prelude the dictator’s entrance with a patriotic chant.

As the previous KGB agent struts his approach in the direction of middle stage, the eerie air offers a scent of a pop-culture villain who desires to normalize his war-mongering antics. Casting a spell of deceptive patriotism to incognizant Russians, the conflict prison lauds his army efforts to make sure the protection of the Russian Federation.

Whereas Vladimir Putin creates a nonsensical assurance to his folks, Russian troopers spherical up Russian protesters, Romanian endocrinologists frantically create radiation drugs as a result of Russian nuclear risk, and Russians pillage the cities of Ukraine. Week after week, Ukrainian fighters are nonetheless in fight towards Russian forces. The workplace of UN Excessive Commissioner “recorded 4,633 civilian casualties,” together with 1,982 killed and a couple of,651 injured. The antagonist, aggressive forces goal hospitals, faculties, worldwide journalists, and harmless civilians. Much more so, the latter troopers resort to abhorrent strategies of bellicosity — sexual violence of ladies as younger as 14 and ladies as outdated as 83.

The world mourns for the residents of Ukraine as Russia continues its invasion. Whereas the Russian conflict in Ukraine was nothing of a shock, nobody may have ever foretold the viciousness of Russia’s abhorrent ways.

Out of concern of triggering World Warfare III, nations and world leaders selected to not take part in warfare. An instance of such is the USA refusing to declare a no-fly zone. Nonetheless, many of the world has unified itself over a single goal: to one way or the other cripple Russia.

Because the atrocities multiply, many ponder if and, extra importantly, when Russia, particularly Vladimir Putin, can be prosecuted for conflict crimes. Can we legally name Putin a conflict prison?

Enter the Worldwide Legal Courtroom. The ICC tries, investigates, and prosecutes these accused of the best crimes, similar to genocide, conflict crimes, crimes towards humanity, and crime of aggression. The foundational doc of the tribunal was adopted on July 17, 1998, and put into power on July 1, 2002. The present 123 state events of the Rome Statute agreed to provide the tribunal authority to carry “people charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the worldwide neighborhood” accountable for his or her actions within the international area.

To this point, the ICC has investigated nations and world leaders. Nonetheless, usually there isn’t any decision: the accused have to be current at The Hague; and the accused should settle for and be cognizant of the accused crimes. It’s inconceivable that Vladimir Putin would settle for his culpability and be keen to lave Russia and current himself at The Hague.


Moreover, navigating the jurisdiction of the Worldwide Legal Courtroom shouldn’t be simple. Investigating and probing the Rome Statute has been dubbed because the equal of following the ball in a pinball machine, requiring a number of to-and-fro readings. Withal and most significantly, we should study if the ICC has the jurisdiction to prosecute anybody in Russia, not to mention Russian nationals like Vladimir Putin. Nonetheless, a basic situation is clear: Neither Ukraine nor Russia are events to the tribunal. However the Rome Statute, the principal doc of the ICC, has a sophisticated understanding of jurisdiction that provides it some room to work across the territorial authority hurdle.

To know the Rome Statute, Rajika Shah, Professor at Loyola Regulation Faculty and Director of the Loyola Genocide Justice Program, additional clarified the tribunal’s distinctive jurisdiction and defined whether or not the ICC may attempt Vladimir Putin for Crimes of Aggression in a session with us.

To start our evaluation of the Rome Statute, we begin with Half 1, Institution of the Courtroom Article 1 The Courtroom of the Rome Statute, which begins the dialog of authority and jurisdiction.

An Worldwide Legal Courtroom (“the Courtroom”) is hereby established. It shall be a everlasting establishment and shall have the ability to train its jurisdiction over individuals for essentially the most severe crimes of worldwide concern, as referred to on this Statute, and shall be complementary to nationwide prison jurisdictions. The jurisdiction and functioning of the Courtroom shall be ruled by the provisions of this Statute.

Trying on the article, the second sentence offers proof of how the ICC can prosecute people, on this case, Vladimir Putin. Nonetheless, earlier than we are able to decide whether or not Putin could be hauled to the ICC, we should decide the ICC’s jurisdiction. The latter leads us to look at Half 2, Jurisdiction, Admissibility, and Relevant Regulation, of the Rome Statute, to Article 11 Jurisdiction Ratione Temporis and/or Article 12 Preconditions to the Train of Jurisdiction.

Article 12 – Preconditions to the train of jurisdiction

1. A State which turns into a Occasion to this Statute thereby accepts the jurisdiction of the Courtroom with respect to the crimes referred to in article 5.

Within the above article, there are a pair components current right here — the train of jurisdiction over folks and jurisdiction regarding sure crimes, with a time aspect. Earlier than we are able to study these components, one drawback lies forward. Russia shouldn’t be a state occasion to the Rome Statute. Thus, it doesn’t meet the primary precondition to jurisdiction. We transfer on to paragraph two of Article 12.


2. Within the case of article 13, paragraph (a) or (c), the Courtroom might train its jurisdiction if a number of of the next States are Events to this Statute or have accepted the jurisdiction of the Courtroom in accordance with paragraph 3:

(a) The State on the territory of which the conduct in query occurred or, if the crime was dedicated on board a vessel or plane, the State of registration of that vessel or plane;

(b) The State of which the individual accused of the crime is a nationwide.

Once more, earlier than we dive into Article 12 Paragraph 2, we have to have a look at Articles 13a and c to see how the Courtroom can train its jurisdiction over an individual.

Article 13 – Train of jurisdiction

The Courtroom might train its jurisdiction with respect to against the law referred to in article 5 in accordance with the provisions of this Statute if:

(a) A state of affairs wherein a number of of such crimes seems to have been dedicated is referred to the Prosecutor by a State Occasion in accordance with article 14.

The above applies as a result of there are presently 42 state events referring to the state of affairs.

(c) The Prosecutor has initiated an investigation in respect of such against the law in accordance with article 15.

Now, we have to have a look at Article 15, Prosecutor.

Article 15 – Prosecutor

1. The Prosecutor might provoke investigations proprio motu on the premise of knowledge on crimes inside the jurisdiction of the Courtroom.

The Prosecutor explicitly asks states to refer the crimes to the ICC in a press launch, so the above applies, and Article 13A is fulfilled. Going again, let’s have a look at the primary “if” state of affairs on Article 12 Paragraph Two A, “if a number of of the next States are Events to this Statute or have accepted the jurisdiction of the Courtroom in accordance with…” Ukraine shouldn’t be a state occasion to this statute, so the next shouldn’t be relevant. Taking a look at Article 12 Paragraph Two B, the important thing phrase is “nationwide.” Putin is a nationwide of Russia, nonetheless, Russia shouldn’t be a state occasion. Once more, the next shouldn’t be relevant.

Analyzing the second “if” clause permits us to maneuver to paragraph three of Article 12.

3. If the acceptance of a State which isn’t a Occasion to this statute is required below paragraph 2, that State might, by declaration lodged with the Registrar, settle for the train of jurisdiction by the Courtroom with respect to the crime in query. The accepting State shall cooperate with the Courtroom with none delay or exception in accordance with Half 9.

The named state events are Russia and Ukraine. Russia has not accepted the Courtroom’s jurisdiction in accordance with Article 12 Paragraph 3. Nonetheless, Ukraine issued a declaration to the ICC in 2015


Studying the declaration, the final sentence of paragraph two extends the time-frame wherein the Courtroom can examine crimes within the territory of Ukraine. Nonetheless, we now should specify the crimes for which a state could be prosecuted and judged. The primary paragraph of the declaration offers the ICC jurisdiction for crimes towards humanity and conflict crimes. Nonetheless, Russia can’t be tried for crimes of aggression.

As well as, circling again to the Rome Statute, circumstances 4 and 5 aren’t met in Article 15bis, Train of Jurisdiction over Crimes of Aggression. Thus, Putin can’t be prosecuted for crimes of aggression on the ICC. The ICC doesn’t have jurisdiction. Nonetheless, states may have a particular tribunal particularly to prosecute Russia for the crime of aggression.

Extra eminently, the ICC has the jurisdiction to prosecute for crimes towards humanity, conflict crimes, and genocide. (Particulars concerning the latter are present in Articles 6, 7,8, and 8bis of the Rome Statute). In a overview of the Russian Warfare in Ukraine, which, in impact, could be dated again to the annexation of Crimea in 2014, it’s evident that Russian President Vladimir Putin is accountable below Worldwide Regulation.

Because the investigation, trial, and conviction of Putin is underway, the important thing growth of the case, at the moment, revolves across the validity, extent, and overview of proof that straight illustrates the crimes that President Putin has dedicated on this invasion.

Information media and/or social media reveals direct proof of nefarious violations of the Rome Statute. As an example, Russian troopers kidnapping Ukrainian Mayor Yevhen Matveev and holding 500 folks hostage violate the conflict crime of taking hostages, Article 8(2)(a)(viii). Ukrainian TikToker Marta Vasyuta offers a bountiful quantity of videographic proof of the Russian military bombing and hanging completely different locations similar to an oil terminal, residential areas, meals markets, and hospitals. She additionally reveals the Russian military utilizing thermobaric weapons similar to vacuum bombs, capturing Ukrainian protesters, and attacking civilians throughout evacuations. Clearly, all of the folks and locations listed aren’t army objects, and these atrocities violate a number of provisions of the Rome Statute. Nonetheless, it’s to the discretion of the ICC to make use of proof just like the latter to attempt Russia and Russian nationals.

By means of media sources, whether or not via novel media like TikTok or programming via CNN, documentation of the atrocities is abundantly clear as newer tragedies torpefy Ukraine. As proceedings within the Hague start, proof of Russian aggression depicts a story of a war-torn nation and the required proof to prosecute Russia by outlining and displaying these actions, furthering the extent of credibility, and growing worldwide publicity to the crimes, we, because the energetic public within the international neighborhood, can assist the ICC as its officers progress with their proceedings.

KIANA KARIMI and LIAM ROGERS are current graduates of Loyola Marymount College.

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