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17 Jul. 2023

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World Day of International Criminal Justice: will putin be arrested and what awaits him in The Hague

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World Day of International Criminal Justice: will putin be arrested and what awaits him in The Hague

Today, the international justice system is under the scrutiny of millions of people. Find out whether all criminals will be brought to The Hague and how criminal justice works today

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On July 17, the world commemorates the Day of International Criminal Justice to remind humanity about the fairness of criminal justice. It is crucial to emphasize to the global community that the Hague awaits all criminals, and putin will not be an exception.

This day is an excellent occasion to promote international criminal justice, which is carried out by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Previously, Ukrainians were rarely interested in such news, but the war crimes encourage everyone to learn about the justice system and the steps to punish criminals. Therefore, such days are significant for Ukraine and for its partners. Now is the time to show that the justice system functions effectively and that promises to punish criminals will be kept.

We invite you to find out how the International Criminal Court operates, why Ukraine should collect evidence of crimes, and when putin will stand trial in The Hague.


Why did this day come about?


Let's dive into the historical background. On July 17, 1998, the Rome Statute was adopted, having established the International Criminal Court. A decade later, on June 1, 2010, at the review conference of the Rome Statute, the Assembly of States Parties decided to create International Criminal Justice Day. By design, the international community should recognize the new system of international criminal justice and make efforts to punish criminals.

122 countries ratified the Rome Statute, and 155 signed it. Unfortunately, Ukraine only signed the statute but did not ratify it. After ratification, the country becomes a member of the International Criminal Court, and crimes committed by its citizens or on its territory are prosecuted in The Hague.


putin and The Hague: will the world's main criminal be arrested?


On March 17, 2023, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for putin. This means that signatories countries must arrest putin if he arrives on their territory.

In August 2023, the dictator may make several visits abroad. Turkey and South Africa are expecting him with the visits. But will he get there?

Recently, information appeared in the media about the reluctance of the South African leader to see putin in his country. This is understandable, as his arrival will put South Africa in a difficult position. The country will face the choice between violating the convention and severing relations with moscow if the arrest happens. Currently, politicians are trying to change the location of the BRICS summit, but no confirmation is on the air yet.

Since putin is a notorious coward, he may call off his visits. Even Turkey, which did not sign the Rome Statute, may not see a russian tyrant on its territory.




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At the same time, Ukraine and the world are sure that putin will be punished. The events of the past have repeatedly proven that justice awaits every criminal. However, the US sees the tribunal over russia in a hybrid format. America proposes to hold an internationalized court within the Ukrainian judicial system.

Ukrainian politicians do not actively support this idea. Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Smirnov commented that Ukraine needs a decision of the Tribunal in the name of the civilized world. Perhaps the most effective solution will be the creation of a new judicial mechanism.

The problem lies in the national legislation, which prohibits Ukraine from arresting three russian officials with immunity - putin, Lavrov, and Mishustin. Therefore, the punishment should be brought to the international scale.

Not only the United States advocates the idea of hybrid justice. Politicians from Germany and Britain also voiced such rhetoric. It is not surprising that each state has its own vision of a new judicial approach, since there were no precedents for such crimes in the 21st century. For example, there is currently no court in the world that could judge the occupation of Crimea.


How The Hague investigates criminal offenses


At the beginning of July, the International Center for the Investigation of Crimes of russia's Aggression against Ukraine started working in The Hague. The purpose of its creation is to obtain and process evidence of russian crimes. This center is an intermediate step before the upcoming launch of the tribunal.

Prosecutors from Ukraine, the European Union, the United States, and the International Criminal Court will cooperate in this center. As reported on the website of the European Commission, the Center will support the investigation of crimes and facilitate the analysis of evidence.

Ursula von der Leyen commented that the evidence of putin and his henchmen crimes is accumulating, and the new center will be a key element in ensuring that those responsible will be brought to justice.

Now it is necessary to understand what war crimes are and how they should be recorded. A full list of crimes is indicated in the Roman Statute. In the general sense, war crimes are actions not justified by the completion of combat tasks. These include torture, rape, sexual violence, shootings of civilians, etc.


Every Ukrainian can report a war crime through the warcrimes.gov.ua platform. This is a kind of hub where you can send evidence of crimes. Once the data is received, investigators will analyze and verify the information and file criminal charges if necessary.

The Ukrainian authorities call for recording every crime, even the obvious one. Each case will help demonstrate the scale of the tragedy for further prosecution. Photo, video materials, and written testimony can serve as evidence.


We remind you, that russia is constantly committing criminal acts, some of which have a thousand-year history. Read our story about how muscovy tried to appropriate Kyivan Rus by following the link.


Photo: Vilnius Municipality




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