Arrest Warrant against Vladimir Putin

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March 20, 2023

Why in news?

International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant against Russian president Vladimir Putin.

What is the ICC?

  • ICC investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community.
  • The four types of gravest crimes are
  1. Genocide
  2. War crimes
  3. Crimes against humanity
  4. The crime of aggression.
  • ICC was established in 1998 under the “Rome Statute”.
  • Headquarters - The Hague, Netherlands
  • 123 countries are members of ICC, including Britain, Japan, Afghanistan, and Germany.
  • India, USA, China, Russia and Ukraine are not the member of ICC.
  • Jurisdiction of ICC is limited to offences occurring after it came into effect on July 1, 2002.

 What are the charges against Vladimir Putin?

  • Unlawful deportation of population
  • Unlawful transfer of population from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.
  • Failure to exercise control properly over civilian & military subordinates under his effective authority, committing or allowing the commission of such acts.
  • Individual criminal responsibility for the abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children
  • The Independent International Commission of Inquiry Report on Ukraine outlined the body of evidence against Russian authorities which include –
    • Wide range of violations of international human rights law and International humanitarian law in many regions of Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
    • Willful killings, attacks on civilians, unlawful confinement, torture, rape, and forced transfers and deportations of children.

This is the first time that the ICC has issued an arrest warrant against one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council

What are the Powers of ICC against Putin?

  • If Putin travels to a state party to the ICC, then that country must arrest him according to its obligations under international law.
  • Ukraine is not a State Party to the Rome Statute, but it has twice exercised its options to accept ICC’s jurisdiction over alleged crimes under the Rome Statute
  • If the acceptance of a state that is not a party to the statute is required, the state may accept the jurisdiction of the court for a crime concerned, by making a declaration to the Registrar and cooperating without any delay or exception.


Quick Facts




Subject Matter

Trial criminal offenses i.e.  genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes of aggression

Settle the legal dispute i.e. sovereignty, boundary disputes, maritime disputes, trade, natural resource


Individuals either ratified member of ICC or accept the jurisdiction of ICC

Only states either member of United Nation or ICJ or both.


Criminal prosecution of individuals

  • Contentious Jurisdiction
  • Advisory opinion

Authorized Statute

Follow Rome Statute

Follow ICJ Statute



Composed of 18 judges elected to nine year terms and not  re-elected for further terms

Composed of 15 judges elected to nine year terms and may be re-elected for up to two further terms



Appeal is instituted by appeal chamber

No appeal provision for  ICJ


Independent  organization

United Nation Judiciary organ



  1. The Indian Express │ Russian President
  2. Law Define │ICC VS ICJ
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