Important Topic: International Criminal Court (ICC)

Important Topics for Competitive Exams

Important Topic

International Criminal Court is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The Rome Statute serves as its foundational and governing document.

  • The judges at ICC are elected from the member countries alone. Presently only two members of UNSC are members of ICC (Britain and France).
  • The eighteen judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) are elected for nine-year terms (Same term as that of International Court of Justice) by the member-countries of the court.
  • In October 2017 Burundi withdrew from the ICC. It became the first ever country to do so accusing ICC of deliberately targeting Africans.

India has neither signed nor ratified the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court (ICC). The reason is that Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court (ICC) defines war crimes including the ‘armed conflict not of an international character’. The inclusion of ‘armed conflict not of an international character’ in defining ‘war crimes’ in Article 8 of the Statute for an ICC has met with resistance from the Indian establishment. Yet, with India as a party to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, this is not a provision that is being brought in for the first time. The situation of conflict that persists in Kashmir, the North-East, and, for a while, in Punjab explains the reasons for the Indian state’s anxiety that this manner of violence could be referred to the ICC.

The Indian state has been protesting the cross-border terrorism that infiltrates into India, especially Kashmir, from Pakistan. In the politicizing of the issue of Kashmir, Pakistan often adverts to the human rights violations that are projected as having become a part of the lives of people in the Kashmir valley. The ICC, it is expected, will be used for embarrassing India by attempts to make a case out of the violence in Kashmir. The exclusion of international terrorism from the crimes covered by the ICC appears to lend weight to the possibilities of misuse of these provisions of the Statute.

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