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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...

South Africa's proposed withdrawal from the Rome Statute has been on the cards for some time now. It was sparked by the clash of legal opinion between the South African government and the ICC concerning South Africa's failure to arrest and surrender ICC suspect, President Al Bashir, when he visited South Africa for the AU Summit in 2015. Though an earlier effort on the part of the South African government to withdraw was thwarted on procedural grounds in the High Court - ruling that the decision t...

2017-8-02

Note: The text of this blog post has been drawn from a written submission to the third edition of the Strathmore Law Journal 2017.

In Greek mythology, Antaeus was the Libyan half-giant son of the Earth goddess, Gaea and Poseidon, the god of the sea.[1] Antaeus had the disturbing proclivity to challenge all strangers passing through his country to wrestle with him. It is quite telling that the Greek word underlying his name, Antaios, means to be set against, or to be hostile.[2] Antaeus’ occupation...

As reported last week, Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) found that South Africa had failed to meet its obligation to arrest and surrender Sudan's President Omar Al-Bashir (Al-Bashir) when he attended the African Union (AU) Summit in South Africa in June 2015. Al-Bashir is suspected of various crimes under the ICC's substantive jurisdiction, including genocide.

The decision was highly anticipated and the finding of non-compliance on the part of South Africa widely...

This past week the African National Congress ("ANC") announced that it is still seeking to withdraw South Africa from membership of the ICC. The ongoing friction between South Africa and the ICC follows South Africa's failure to arrest President Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan when he attended the AU Summit in South Africa in June 2015. The ICC had issued an arrest warrant for Al-Bashir, who is implicated war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in the Darfur region of Sudan, in 2010....

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