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International Criminal Court (ICC) UPSC NOTE


  • Governed by an international treaty called 'The Rome Statute', the ICC is the world’s first permanent international criminal court.

  • It investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression.

  • Through international criminal justice, ICC aims to hold those responsible for their crimes and to help prevent these crimes from happening again.

  • India is not a party to Rome Statute along with US and China.

  • The ICC Prosecutor has sought arrest warrants against the leadership of both Hamas and Israel.

  • This is in response to war crimes committed during the conflict that began with Hamas’s attacks on Israel and Israel’s subsequent military retaliation in Gaza.

Context of the Conflict:

  • On October 7, Hamas launched attacks killing over 1,500 Israelis and taking at least 245 hostages.

  • Israel's retaliation has resulted in the deaths of over 35,000 people in Gaza, most of whom were women and children.

Nature of the Charges:

  • The charges against Israeli leaders include using starvation as a method of war and intentionally killing and directing attacks against civilians.

  • The charges against Hamas leaders include extermination, murder, rape, torture, and taking hostages.

Impact and Reactions:

  • The ICC's actions could have a significant impact on Israel, highlighting a moral equivalence between the national leadership of Israel and the leaders of Hamas.

  • Israel, supported by the U.S. and other governments, disputes the charges, claiming legitimate self-defense.

  • The arrest warrants, while potentially difficult to enforce, carry diplomatic consequences, as ICC member countries are obliged to arrest and hand over those with pending warrants.

Broader Implications:

  • The issuance of warrants could increase Israel's international isolation.

  • It may also strengthen U.S.-Israeli resistance to the ICC’s actions and the Palestinian issue.

  • Despite Israel and the U.S. not being ICC member states, the example of Russian President Putin shows that non-membership does not prevent the ICC from issuing warrants against leaders.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: International Criminal Court (ICC) UPSC NOTE
International Criminal Court (ICC) UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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