Government appears to shield Putin from the risk of being arrested in Brazil at the G20 summit

Government appears to shield Putin from the risk of being arrested in Brazil at the G20 summit
Government appears to shield Putin from the risk of being arrested in Brazil at the G20 summit
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The government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) prepared a legal opinion to support a possible visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Brazil during the G20 summit in November, in Rio de Janeiro, which shields him from being arrested due to international arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Lula has already invited Putin to participate in the summit and stated, initially, that he would not risk being arrested. Subsequently, he delegated to the Court to decide whether or not to comply with the order issued by the ICC.

According to a newspaper investigation Newspaper published this Monday (1st), the document was submitted to the UN International Law Commission in November last year and aims to clarify the regulations on immunity from jurisdiction for heads of state. A People’s Gazette He sought out the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to comment on the document and is awaiting a response.

Putin is not mentioned by name in the opinion, but his situation vis-à-vis the ICC is implied in the justifications cited. Brazil, as a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the court, would theoretically be obliged to detain it if it sets foot on national territory.

Putin’s detention on Brazilian soil, however, is considered highly unlikely due to the geopolitical and security repercussions it could have on the military power. The possibility of an arrest order could also result in a diplomatic embarrassment for both countries during the summit.

The government’s argument is that treaties establishing international courts, such as the Rome Statute, should only have effect between the signatory parties. Therefore, a head of state from a non-signatory country should not have his immunity compromised, even in the territory of a nation that recognizes the authority of this international court. Russia withdrew its signature from the Rome Statute in 2016.

“It is a basic norm of general international law, codified in article 34 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, that ‘a treaty does not create obligations or rights for a third State without its consent’”, points out one of the excerpts of the document.

Brazil highlights that immunity from jurisdiction for high-ranking authorities is fundamental to promoting peaceful understandings of international disputes and maintaining friendly relations between countries. Furthermore, the document emphasizes that this immunity protects against what would be an “abusive, arbitrary and politically motivated exercise” of criminal jurisdiction against State agents.

Putin’s possible participation in the G20 summit in Rio de Janeiro has already generated controversy, especially after previous statements by Lula during his participation in the forum’s summit in New Delhi, India. Lula had stated that Putin would not run the risk of being arrested if he decided to attend the event in Brazil.

Later, Lula backed down and indicated that the decision would be up to the Brazilian Judiciary. “It’s a process, he has to assess the consequences. It’s not me who will say. It is a judicial decision, and a President of the Republic does not judge judicial decisions. He either complies or doesn’t comply. […] And if he [Putin] attend, he knows what will happen. It might happen, it might not happen,” he added.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Government appears shield Putin risk arrested Brazil G20 summit

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