Despite the fact that more than 120 States have ratified the Rome Statute, the United States, China, India, and Israel have officially refused to accede to it. Their motivation is that the Court’s activities could harm their national interests and sovereignty. At the same time, these are the countries that either participate in international military conflicts or have unresolved territorial issues. It would not go amiss to point out that the United States has explicitly warned about the possibility of sanctions against individuals, organizations, and countries that will help the International Criminal Court if it threatens the national interests of the United States, its citizens or allies. Moreover, the US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo once called the International Criminal Court “the international court of crooks”.
Thus, the very idea of an International court of justice, which would operate permanently and bring any persons to justice for serious crimes, deserves full support. The problem is in the failed implementation. And in the light of the abovementioned, it follows that the International Criminal Court (Ukraine is strongly and actively encouraged by some subjects of power and representatives of public organizations to ratify the main document of it – the Rome Statute) apparently has neither opportunity to investigate crimes, and especially acts of terrorism and aggression in the Crimea and in the Donbass, nor jurisdiction over the Russian Federation.
In addition, we are deeply convinced that the statements of Ukraine made in 2014 and 2015 regarding the jurisdiction of the ICC are misleading, because, among other things, they contradict the Constitution of Ukraine, and therefore should be withdrawn.
It is necessary to undertake a lot of work and make appropriate changes to the Constitution of Ukraine, the Association Agreement with the EU, excluding all references to both the Rome Statute and the ICC.
It is time for Ukraine to prove by real actions that it is not only an object but also a subject of international law and international relations.
Oleksandr Chebanenko, the UIF expert on the law enforcement and judicial systems reform programme
First published: DT.ua