ICC’s despotic arrogance, impertinence (1)

Such a protective initiative is laudable as those innocents are removed from the places of armed conflict that put their lives at risk.

This is not a brief for Russian President Vladimir Putin, rather this articulation is against the International Criminal Court, or ICC, which has arrogated unto itself the task of going after perceived violators of crimes against humanity despite its total absence of authority to acquire jurisdiction over citizens of countries who are not members of this international body. It has clothed itself with the power to issue arrest warrants against citizens of a non-member state without conducting any formal investigation giving the subject of the warrant of arrest the opportunity to defend himself, so basic in law, whether international or domestic, in the matter of administration of justice.

The Hague-based court released a statement last Friday that it has issued an arrest warrant on Putin for his suspected involvement in the alleged unlawful deportation and transfer of children to Russia from the occupied areas of Ukraine. It claimed, “there are reasonable grounds to believe that Putin bears individual responsibility for having committed the acts (deportation of children) directly, jointly with others and/or through others (and) for his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts.”

On similar allegations, the ICC also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the Commissioner on Children’s Rights in the office of President Putin.

Whatever crimes against humanity Putin may have committed should properly fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of either Russia, of which he is a citizen of, or Ukraine, the country where the alleged crime was committed. It is the two governments of those countries that should prosecute him, and always after being accorded due process.

Russia, of course, has slammed the International Criminal Court for issuing the warrant for the arrest of Putin. The Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharkva stated on her Telegram channel:

“The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country including from a legal point of view. Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute and bears no obligation under it.”

On the issue of the deportation of Ukraine children to Russia, the latter has been transparent regarding its program of bringing thousands of them to Russia. The latter presents it as a humanitarian step to protect Ukraine orphans and children abandoned in war zone areas. To the mind of this writer, such a protective initiative is laudable as those innocents are removed from the places of armed conflict that put their lives at risk.

That issue, however, should be the subject of factual inquiry as to whether or not the children were uprooted in Ukraine for their safety or for other unlawful purposes, hence a formal investigation is a must. The person or country being accused should have a day in court, assuming that the ICC has jurisdiction over the subject person or country, which obviously it does not have for the reason stated above. It should be Russia or Ukraine that should determine whether or not Putin is guilty of abducting those children, and not this judicial usurper International Criminal Court.

As in the case of the Philippines — where despite the Rome Statute creating the International Criminal Court being unenforceable in our country for not being compliant with our Constitution’s directive on the observance of due process, as well as our effective withdrawal as a member-state being undisputed, the ICC forced itself, in violation of the principle of complementarity and its own law, to acquire jurisdiction over us — it is likewise now forcing its prosecutorial and judicial tentacles on Russia, also a non-member country of the international body.

The ICC was precisely created to supplement the quest for justice of countries that cannot or will not prosecute those committing crimes against mankind. What it is doing is supplant and usurp the legal system of the countries that are not even members of its group.

(To be continued)

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