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War in Ukraine: can the International Criminal Court go after Vladimir Putin?

Comments from William Julié on the jurisdiction and role of the International Criminal Court following the statement on the opening of an investigation on crimes committed in Ukraine.


The ICC has jurisdiction over three crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Its jurisdiction was extended in 2018 with a new crime of aggression. But according to William Julié, lawyer specialized in International Criminal Law, this crime will not enter within the ICC’s jurisdiction. “The consensus is that the charges of crime against humanity, war crime and genocide may be pressed”, takes over William Julié. “War crimes encompass quite a few crimes, such as the manner in which members of the military should be treated and the protection of the civilian population. Launching missiles on residential buildings is a war crime”.

Is Vladimir Putin directly targeted?

Yes, because ICC has jurisdiction to bring to trial individuals and not States. “It prosecutes individual for the three mentioned crimes, all through the chain of command: military commander, minister… it can go all the way up to the Head of State”, specifies William Julié. If proceedings come to an end, Vladimir could be under an international arrest warrant, published on Interpol. And the sentence can be quite severe, up to life imprisonment.