THE OBLIGATION TO PROSECUTE HEADS OF STATE UNDER THE ROME STATUTE OF THE INTERNATONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC) AND CUSTOMARY INTERNATIONAL LAW: THE AFRICAN AND U.S. PERSPECTIVES

Main Article Content

Fareed Mohd Hassan, Dr

Abstract

The United States (US), a Signatory, but not a State Party, to the Rome Statute, entered into various Bilateral Agreements (BIAs) with almost all Rome Statute State Parties prohibiting the arrest, surrender, or prosecution of the U.S. Head of State before the ICC. Similarly, the African Union (AU) Members, being the majority State Parties to the Rome Statute have decided in the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government not to cooperate with the ICC and to grant immunity to African Heads of State after the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber issued two arrest warrants against the Sudanese President for allegedly committing genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. This paper examines the tension between States’ obligations under the Rome Statute to prosecute, surrender and arrest a head of State, including when referred to by the UN Security Council on the one hand, and the AU decision, the US BIAs and customary international law which grants immunity to a sitting head of State from criminal prosecution by either an international or a foreign court on the other hand. It argues that States are bound by the obligations enshrined under the Rome Statute and both the AU decision and the BIAs are inconsistent with the duty of states to uphold jus cogens norms including those proscribed under the Rome Statue 2002.


 

Article Details

How to Cite
Mohd Hassan, F. (2019). THE OBLIGATION TO PROSECUTE HEADS OF STATE UNDER THE ROME STATUTE OF THE INTERNATONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC) AND CUSTOMARY INTERNATIONAL LAW: THE AFRICAN AND U.S. PERSPECTIVES. Malaysian Journal of Syariah and Law, 7(1), 33-56. https://doi.org/10.33102/mjsl.v7i1.112
Section
Articles

References

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