YEREVAN, October 2. /TASS/. The Armenian parliament is scheduled to consider the ratification of the Rome Statute on October 3, according to the legislature’s website.
The agenda for the day includes "discussion of whether to adopt the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and whether to adopt a declaration on reciprocal recognition of the ICC jurisdiction under Point 3 of Article 12 of the Statute."
Armenia earlier stated that its ratification of the Rome Statute wouldn’t be directed against Russia, but would aim to prosecute Azerbaijanis who had committed war crimes. Opposition parties in Armenia issued a statement condemning the government’s decision to seek the ratification, insisting that Armenia would put in peril the alliance with Russia and bring severe consequences upon the country by ratifying the Rome Statute.
A representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry earlier told TASS that the ratification of the Rome Statute would take a heavy toll on bilateral relations. While being promoted by Armenian representatives, the thesis that joining the International Criminal Court will allegedly have no effect on Russian-Armenian ties has no basis in reality, the person said. He also said Yerevan failed to heed Moscow’s proposals on the Statute.
The Rome Statute
The Rome Statute is an international treaty that established the International Criminal Court. It is also its Charter. The document was adopted at the diplomatic conference in Rome on July 17, 1998 and went into effect on July 1, 2002. It outlines the functions, jurisdiction and structure of the court (which is not part of the UN).
The ICC prosecutes individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and acts of aggression. The amendment on crimes of aggression was passed in December 2017. The ICC exercises jurisdiction only over crimes committed after July 1, 2002 on the territory of a state party and nationals of state parties on the territory of any other country. If a crime is committed in a state that is not a party to the Statute or its nationals are suspected of grave crimes, the UN Security Council can issue a mandate to launch a criminal investigation.
States that are not parties to the ICC and seek to investigate crimes committed on their soil can issue a special statement to recognize the court’s jurisdiction over a crime. The UN Security Council can suspend the court’s work and any arrest warrants it issues. The ICC has jurisdiction only over individuals. The court can sentence a person to 30 years or even life in prison, but is prohibited from imposing the death penalty.