Tuesday, 22 November 2016

A retreat from international law

The United States has consistently opposed membership of the International Criminal Court, although there was some cooperation during the Clinton and early Obama administrations. She prefers to enforce what she sees as international justice through military and economic muscle.

One of Vladimir Putin's early acts after being elected as president of Russia in 2000 was to sign up to the ICC, though this action has never been ratified. Now he has repudiated his signature, responding to the ICC's criticism of Russia's re-annexation of Crimea and no doubt mindful of possible prosecutions for war crimes in Syria. Russia thus joins Jacob Zuma's South Africa and a collection of other African nations whose human rights record is iffy in withdrawing from the ICC.

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