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The Rise of the African Union Opposition to the International Criminal Court’s Investigations and Prosecutions of African Leaders

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On 9 January 2012 the African Union (AU) stated that it ‘shall oppose any ill-considered, self-serving decisions of the ICC [International Criminal Court] as well as any pretensions or double standards that become evident from the investigations, prosecutions and decisions by the ICC relating to situations in Africa’. These relate to the United Nations [UN] Security Council referrals (in Darfur/Sudan and Libya) and the Prosecutor’s investigations proprio motu (in Kenya). This article considers the rise of the AU opposition to the ICC investigations and prosecutions in Africa directed against current African State leaders focusing on three issues. First, whether customary international law creates an exception to Head of State immunity when international courts, such as the ICC, seek a Head of State’s arrest for the commission of international crimes. Second, whether the International Court of Justice can decide on immunity of State officials sought by the ICC. Third, whether the AU should empower the African Court of Justice and Human Rights with the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for international crimes committed in Africa.

Affiliations: 1: Senior Lecturer in Law, Brunel Law School, Brunel University, London, UK

10.1163/15718123-01302002
/content/journals/10.1163/15718123-01302002
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/content/journals/10.1163/15718123-01302002
2013-01-01
2016-12-11

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