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2018-3-24

The African Union (“AU”) recently resolved to request for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”) through the UN General Assembly (“UNGA”) on the question of the relationship between Articles 27 and 98 of the Rome Statute. This signals hope for a final resolution of the seemingly unresolved question of the immunity of heads of state of non-state parties from arrest by state parties to the Rome Statute.

The ICC’s decisions on this issue have been inconsistent and unpredic...

The divergence of opinion regarding head of state immunity for international crimes remained in the headlines in the month of February. In particular, there have been two seemingly conflicting developments on this front in Africa:

1. AU request for advisory opinion on head of state immunity

At the beginning of February at the 30th African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government, the African Union decided to pursue a request for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the...

It is reported that Zambia will not withdraw from the ICC. This comes of the back of a national consultative process concerning Zambia's withdrawal from the Court. It is particularly striking that 91,43% of petitioners were opposed to Zambia's withdrawal. This goes to show that - while there still seems to be support for mass withdrawal among various African states' political representatives (made evident through the AU's earlier non-binding recommendation to withdraw) - such support may...

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