September 16, 2019
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 In Inequality in International Criminal Prosecutions

Country: Russian Federation
Delegate Name: Micaela Story

Despite the seemingly harmonious intentions spelled out by the Rome Statute, support and unity surrounding the International Criminal Court (ICC) continue to diminish. In 2016, several countries announced their departure or plan to depart the ICC. Many parties have been quick to point out that the majority of ICC cases are disproportionately focused in African countries, claiming the push of a Western Imperialist agenda. Since its start, the ICC has only won four cases, leaving many countries hesitant in its ability to effectively prosecute criminals. As a result of the court’s lackluster performance and invasive views on sovereignty, several countries including China, India, Russia, and the United States have not ratified the Roman Statute, leaving them exempt from the court’s jurisdiction.

The Russian Federation believes that sovereignty and the right of states to self-govern are some of the foremost concerns surrounding the ICC. Because of these values, the Russian Federation officially withdrew its signature in 2016, joining a considerably large group of countries, including the US and Israel, who had also withdrawn. Russia also feels that the jurisdiction of the ICC is somewhat discriminatory towards citizens of countries who have not ratified the treaty and that claiming jurisdiction over foreign nationals in a country under the ICC’s jury is overstepping. Because of the worldwide distrust of the ICC and its inability to win cases and take cases in regions outside of Africa, the Russian Federation believes it is unwise to allocate funds towards the court. Russia holds absolute faith in its judicial system seeing as all high-level judges are personally appointed and vetted by the president. The Russian government does not hesitate to hold citizens and foreign nationals responsible for their crimes, and readily prosecutes criminals.

Taking into account the number of countries who do not or have withdrawn support of the Rome Statute, Russia does not plan to support the advancement of the ICC unless some significant amendments are created. Russia would like to see a plan or proof of the ICC’s ability to conduct cases outside of Africa, among other concerns. The Russian Federation also feels that sovereignty and the right of nations to govern themselves are vital to any effective participation or acceptance of the ICC. Russia will readily work with countries, including China, North Korea, and any others who wish to protect the rights and sovereignty of their nation.

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