Russia Follows SA & Pulls Out of the International Criminal Court
Russia is formally withdrawing its signature from the International Criminal Court just a day after Concourt ruled in favour of SA cabinet to withdraw from the court.
Russia’s exit is a fresh blow to the reputation of ICC as other African countries intend following South Africa on its way out. Burundi and Gambia are believed to be the next African countries to withdraw from ICC.
The Russian foreign ministry has accused the ICC for failing to live up to hopes of the international community and denouncing its work as one sided.
Russia stood at the origins of the ICC’s founding, voted for its establishment and has always cooperated with the agency. Foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova said that Russia had hoped that the ICC would 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.” said Zakharova.
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.
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 resurgence of nationalist politics, apparent in Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidential election victory, suggests the tide may be turning against international legal institutions.
To date, the US, India and China as well as most Middle Eastern states have declined to ratify the Rome statute which established the court.
On Monday the Constitutional Court dismissed the application by the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) which was grounded on exclusive jurisdiction.
The court further dismissed the alternative relief sought by the Democratic Alliance (DA) for direct access on the ground that it does not serve the best interests of justice.
The DA sought to challenge the Cabinet’s policy decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) contending that the issue was for the decision of the National Assembly.