ArmInfo. Armenia intends to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. At its meeting on September 28, the Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs issued a positive conclusion regarding the ICC Charter of the Rome Statute submitted for ratification.
As Armenia's Representative on International Legal Affairs Yeghishe Kirakosyan explained, Armenia signed the Rome Statute on July 17, 1998, but did not ratify it, since the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia in 2004 recognized two obligations of the treaty as contradicting a number of provisions of the Constitution in force at that time. At the end of 2022, the Armenian government again appealed to the Constitutional Court on the issue of verifying the constitutionality of the Rome Statute. On March 24, 2023, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia recognized Armenia's obligations under the Rome Statute of the ICC as consistent with the Basic Law of the country. Kirakosyan noted that the ICC mainly considers crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression. The court exercises international legal capacity. It shall also have such legal capacity as may be necessary for the exercise of its functions and the achievement of itspurposes. The Court may exercise its functions and powers, as provided for in this Statute, in the territory of any State Party and, by special agreement, in the territory of any other State.
Kirakosyan noted that ratification of this document will make it possible to initiate proceedings at the ICC against Azerbaijan for war crimes committed in Artsakh, where forced deportation of the population actually takes place, as well as for aggression against Armenia. Without this document, Armenia had practically no mechanisms to hold Baku accountable.
Armenia's Representative on International Legal Affairs noted that since May 2021, the armed forces of Azerbaijan have invaded the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, carrying out military aggression against the Republic of Armenia, and continue to remain in various parts of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia. Then, in 2022, on September 13-14, they carried out a new large-scale military aggression towards various parts of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, which led to hundreds of casualties among the armed forces and the civilian population and during which the most serious war crimes were committed. Moreover, judging by Azerbaijan's behavior and bellicose statements, the risk of new military aggression by Azerbaijan against Armenia remains high. In these circumstances, the speedy ratification of the RA ICC Statute is very important, since after its ratification, crimes committed by the Azerbaijani armed forces on the territory of Armenia, including war crimes, will be subject to the jurisdiction of the ICC, which will certainly become a deterrent for Baku.
On March 17 of this year, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, the Armenian side notes that the ratification of the document is not directed against Russia. Later, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that the Russian side warned their Armenian partners about the extremely negative consequences in the relations with Russia, in case of Armenia's possible accession to the Rome Statute. The Foreign Ministry also added that Moscow considers Yerevan's plans to join the Rome Statute of the ICC unacceptable against the backdrop of warrants against the leadership of the Russian Federation. In turn, Deputy Speaker of the Armenian Parliament Hakob Arshakyan noted that Yerevan can ensure that its further actions related to the ratification of the Rome Statute do not damage Armenian-Russian strategic relations.