Reflections on the Indictment of Sitting Heads of State and Government and Its Consequences for Peace and Stability and Reconciliation in Africa
African Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 7, p. 43, 2014
19 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2014 Last revised: 14 Oct 2017
Date Written: January 10, 2014
In this essay, the author considers the most recent challenge to the application of international criminal justice in Africa: Kenya's controversial November 2013 proposal to amend the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to exempt from prosecution sitting presidents accused of involvement with international crimes. He examines several legal and practical reasons why such a proposal is untenable. Instead, he contends that much of the African Union's current concerns about the Kenya situation can be addressed within the confines of existing Rome Law. On the other hand, the author suggests that the International Criminal Court officials, especially the judges and the chief prosecutor, should consider taking a more flexible and nuanced approach to their interpretations of several important provisions contained in their guiding statute.
Keywords: Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, customary international law, prosecuting heads of state, Immunity, Article 27 amendment proposals, Assembly of States Parties, Kenya-ICC, Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto, Africa, ICC
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