Irreconcilable Differences? An Analysis of the Standoff between the African Union and the International Criminal Court

MIA SWART, Karin Krisch

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From initial African support for the establishment of the International Criminal Court to recent proposals that African states should withdraw from it, the article traces the history of the relationship between the African Union and the Court and the reasons for its deterioration. The discussion is focussed on the issue of immunity for sitting heads of state, which has emerged as a major sticking point between the two organisations. The disagreement is illustrated with reference to the ICC’s efforts to prosecute the Kenyan President and his deputy. We examine the legal position on head-of-state immunity at international law, and proceed to evaluate the AU’s proposal that the ICC should amend the Rome Statute to provide for immunity for sitting heads of state, as well as the amendment to the Protocol of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, in light thereof.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAfrican Journal of International Criminal Justice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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