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The International Criminal Court and Africa$
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Charles Chernor Jalloh and Ilias Bantekas

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198810568

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198810568.001.0001

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Trying Sitting Heads of State

Trying Sitting Heads of State

The African Union versus the ICC in the Al Bashir and Kenyatta Cases

(p.138) 6 Trying Sitting Heads of State
The International Criminal Court and Africa

Paola Gaeta

Patryk I Labuda

Oxford University Press

The issue of the exercise of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) jurisdiction over sitting heads of state is one of the major bones of contention in the tense relationship between the ICC and Africa. Legally, the disagreement revolves around the interpretation of the two rules of the Rome Statute, that is, article 27(2) and article 98(1), concerning the personal immunities. The Al Bashir and Kenyatta cases constitute the litmus test with which the analysis of these rules of the Rome Statute can be carried out to clarify the scope and purport of these two provisions. The Al Bashir case raises two different issues: (i) whether the same immunities preclude the ICC from exercising its adjudicatory jurisdiction over a sitting head of state of a non-member state; (ii) if this is not the case, whether the ICC member states are obliged under the Rome Statute to execute the request by the ICC to arrest and surrender him.

Keywords:   International Criminal Court (ICC), jurisdiction, Kenyatta, Rome Statute, Al Bashir

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