top of page

Armenia To Formally Join International Criminal Court in February, Court Confirms

Armenia To Formally Join International Criminal Court in February, Court Confirms

The International Criminal Court (ICC) revealed on Friday that Armenia's formal request to join has been accepted, with the country set to become a full-fledged member in February. This announcement follows Yerevan's recent signing of the ratification of the Rome Statute, acknowledging the ICC's jurisdiction.

The move signifies Armenia's intent for the court's prosecutors to investigate alleged crimes committed in the Republic of Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh – which is currently being occupied by Azerbaijan.

In a statement, the ICC specified, "The Statute will enter into force for Armenia on February 1, 2024. Armenia will become the 124th State Party to join the Statute, and the 19th State from the Eastern European group to do so."

Relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan deteriorated after the 2020 Artsakh War followed by Baku’s occupation of the indigenous Armenian mountainous region, leading to the mass exodus of approximately 120,000 ethnic Armenians. Yerevan has accused Baku of perpetrating "ethnic cleansing" in Artsakh.

Moreover, the decision to join the ICC has invoked discontent in Moscow. Russian prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin over alleged deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia. ICC members are expected to arrest Putin if he enters their territories.

Armenia's alignment with the ICC comes amid strained relations with Moscow, particularly concerning the lack of Russian peacekeeper intervention during Baku's military offensive.

Established in 2002, the ICC stands as the world's sole independent court investigating and prosecuting severe crimes, including genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Membership involves countries signing the court's founding Rome Statute, a step Azerbaijan has not taken.

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell commended Armenia's ratification, stating that it signifies the country's commitment to international law and human rights. Borrell emphasized, "Every accession brings us closer to universal participation and to ending impunity for the most serious crimes."

On November 14, Armenia finalized its accession process by depositing the instrument of ratification of the Rome Statute at the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs. With this, Armenia will officially become the 124th State Party to the International Criminal Court when the Rome Statute takes effect on February 1, 2024. Additionally, Armenia retroactively accepted the ICC's jurisdiction from May 10, 2021, pledging full and prompt cooperation with the Court, according to Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan's communication to the ICC Registrar, Osvaldo Zavala Giler.


Ad for subscribing to The Armenian Report
bottom of page