The Impact of Burundi’s Withdrawal upon the Burundi Situation


Cambridge International Law Journal Blog, 19 December 2016

After submitting its official notification to the UN Secretary-General, the withdrawal of Burundi from the Rome Statute will take effect on 27 October 2017. Meanwhile, the Burundi situation remains under consideration of preliminary examination by the Office of Prosecutor (OTP) which is focusing on alleged acts committed since April 2015. An interesting issue is how Burundi’s withdrawal affects the Burundi situation in relation to the future of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This blog post will critically discuss the application of Article 127(2) of the Rome Statute in three respects: firstly, it will evaluate whether a “situation” under preliminary examination by the OTP can be considered a “matter” under A.127(2); secondly, it will discuss Burundi’s cooperation; and thirdly, it will argue that the withdrawal of Burundi should not be a catalyst for the OTP’s preliminary examination activities.

Firstly, with Burundi’s formal notification of withdrawal, A.127(2) might apply as to the ongoing Burundi situation before the ICC. Part of this provision provides that

[Its withdrawal shall not] …prejudice in any way the continued consideration of any matter which was already under consideration by the Court prior to the date on which the withdrawal became effective.

The issue here is whether “a situation” in the OTP’s “preliminary examination” is included as “a matter under consideration”. As Schabas observes, the wording “any matter” was not fully discussed during the negotiation of the Rome Statute, indeed, there are divergent interpretations of the phrase “any matter under consideration of the court”, which can lead to different possible results from the ongoing preliminary examination situation.

If the word “court” is interpreted literally and understood in a broad manner to include the Prosecutor of the ICC then the answer to the main question (whether a situation under preliminary examination is included as a “matter”) is affirmative. Simply put, the preliminary examination of Burundi’s situation could be included as a “matter” under consideration, meaning that A.127(2) would apply and the OTP could continue their preliminary examination after Burundi’s withdrawal.

However, as Whiting mentions, this literal interpretation might put the ICC in a dilemma: supposing the preliminary examination is ongoing after the date of the effective withdrawal (i.e., 27 October 2017), there will be a preliminary examination without any apprehension or cooperation by the Burundi.  In this case, it may be better for the OTP to abandon the situation.

Alternatively, a different understanding is indicated by the French and Chinese versions of A.127(2). As a commentator points out, the French version of this phrase seems to show a restricted interpretation of the word “matter” to be limited to “cases”. Therefore, a situation in the phase of preliminary examination would be excluded from the scope of “matter” meaning A.127(2) could not apply.

In addition, the text of the Chinese version (i.e., 法院已在审理中的任何事项) provides another interpretation of “matter”. Compared to the French version, the Chinese version shows an even more restricted understanding of the wording “court”.  By the phrase “审理 (under consideration)”, the “court” seems to be limited to chambers, excluding the OTP of the ICC. The Chinese interpretation of “court”, also appears to restrict the scope of “matter” to “cases” and in this regard, it is similar to the interpretation of the French text.

It should be noted that the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC is in the ambit of “court” and the Rome Statute provides that for an investigation acting proprio motu by the OTP the Pre-Trial Chamber has to decide whether to authorise such an investigation of a situation. Therefore, a “situation” under consideration by the Pre-trial Chamber might also be implied in the scope of “matters under consideration of the court”, thus, A.127(2) could apply and Burundi’s withdrawal should not prejudice the work of the Pre-trial Chamber.

Due to the uncertainty of the interpretation of “any matter under consideration of the court” it is difficult to say that the ongoing Burundi situation under preliminary examination would definitely be included as a “matter”.

Moving on to the second issue to be addressed, even if the “matter” includes preliminary examination, A.127(2) simply imposes on Burundi a negative obligation, implied in the wording “prejudice”, not to bar the consideration of the Court, rather than a duty to cooperate with the Court. Therefore, another question is what the OTP should do in this circumstance?

Whiting suggests that it is better for the OTP to initiate an investigation of this situation based on the evidence presented before Burundi’s effective withdrawal. By doing so, another part of A.127(2) will apply. It provides that

“[Its] withdrawal shall not affect any cooperation with the Court in connection with criminal investigations and proceedings in relation to which the withdrawing State had a duty to cooperate and which were commenced prior to the date on which the withdrawal became effective…”

Accordingly, Burundi would be obliged to cooperate with the ICC in investigations after the withdrawal becomes effective.

The third and final issue is whether Burundi’s withdrawal should be a catalyst for the OTP’s preliminary examinations. The Report on Preliminary Examination Activities 2016 issued by of the OTP in November, stated that the Burundi situation is in the subject-matter (jurisdiction) assessment phase. However, the OTP addresses:

“According to its legal assessment, the Office could also initiate investigations at least during this one-year period. The withdrawal of Burundi would not affect its duty to cooperate with the Court in connection with criminal investigations and proceedings commenced prior the date on which the withdrawal becomes effective.”

This statement indicates that the OTP will submit the situation to the Pre-Trial Chamber who must authorise an investigation within eleven months. Although it is unknown whether the withdrawal was a catalyst for the OTP’s legal assessment, it shows that the Burundi situation will be one of its priorities.

Even if all factual and legal requirements are satisfied, then there would be doubt as to whether this situation should be prioritised. Considering the budget in 2017, resources for the OTP are limited and if the OTP makes this situation its priority then other situations would be delayed. The Burundi situation should not be prioritised simply due to the State’s withdrawal.

The 2016 Policy paper on case selection and prioritisation might provide guidance for the assessment of whether to focus on this situation. One of its criteria is “the impact and the ability of the Office to pursue cases involving opposing parties to a conflict in parallel or on a sequential basis”. Considering its withdrawal, Burundi might not cooperate with the ICC to ensure the appearance of suspects working for its government before the Court, despite being obliged to do so. Without cooperation, it seems that no individual in a potential case would be prosecuted before the ICC. The OTP might be less capable of pursuing cases involving the Burundi government.

Yet, if the OTP successfully justified the prioritisation of this situation and the Pre-Trial Chamber authorised the investigation of this situation, its authorisation might imply that a State party whose leaders might be defendants cannot avoid the ICC by withdrawing from the Rome Statute.

However, the ICC’s prosecution of the Burundi situation may not have a lasting effect, and perhaps focusing on the Afghanistan and Iraq/UK situations would save the ICC’s reputation in the long term.

To sum up, the application of the A.127(2) of the Rome Statute is uncertain in the preliminary examination of the Burundi situation. Furthermore, due to Burundi’s withdrawal, the ICC has to be prepared for long-term criticism if the Pre-Trial Chamber authorises an investigation of the Burundi situation in the following eleven months.


Families of the Victims of the MH17 Incident Might Seek Redress before the International Criminal Court

Leiden Law Blog

15 months after the tragedy of Malaysia Airline flight MH17 over Ukraine, new hope arises due to a new declaration by Ukraine.

 Photo by Robin Van Lonkhuijsen-EPA

After 15 months, the public have been given more details about the tragedy of Malaysia Airline flight MH17. On 17 July 2014,  flight MH17 was shot down, killing all 298 passengers and crew members, including 193 Dutch citizens. In October 2015, the Dutch Safety Board released its final report about the investigation into the crash. According to the final report, flight MH17 was struck by a warhead that was carried on a class of missile installed on a Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile system. The Dutch Safety Board concluded that the warhead might have been launched in eastern Ukraine, but the location cannot be determined without further research.

This event is developing in different directions at the international level. In the UN, the Security Council has demanded that “those responsible for this incident be held to account” and that “all States cooperate fully with efforts to establish accountability” (UNSC Resolution 2166). After the MH17 incident, the Netherlands proposed establishing an international tribunal to prosecute those suspected of shooting down flight MH17. In July 2015, an International Criminal Tribunal for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was proposed in the draft UN Security Council resolution. However, Russia vetoed this draft resolution and explained that it would be “premature” and “counter-productive” to establish such a tribunal. It seems that the UN intervention failed before the Security Council.

Alternatively, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague might provide a comfort to the families of the victims. Indeed, the ICC might have jurisdiction over the MH17 incident. In April 2014, under Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute, Ukraine made an ad hoc declaration  accepting the ICC’s jurisdiction for crimes committed on its territory from 21 November 2013 to 22 February 2014.  After one week, the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) decided to open a preliminary examination in Ukraine. Since the temporal jurisdiction was limited before February 2014 by the ad hoc declaration, the MH17 incident which occurred in July 2014 was excluded from examination at that time. Nevertheless, in September 2015, Ukraine lodged its second declaration. It declared to accept the jurisdiction of the ICC for acts committed in the territory of Ukraine since 20 February 2014. Later on, the OTP extended the time frame of its preliminary examination of the Ukraine situation with an open-ended date. Thus, it is possible that the MH17 incident would be covered and examined by the OTP.

Until now, the issue remains unresolved  whether the warhead was launched by the Ukrainian army, the pro-Russian rebels, or whomever. One may argue that when Ukraine lodged declarations, it intended to prosecute senior officials of the Russian Federation and leaders of terrorist organisations (Declaration of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine), rather than individuals on the Ukraine side. In fact, the declaration did not preclude the investigation and prosecution of individuals on the Ukraine side, if they had committed crimes. And Rule 44(2) of the Rules and Procedure of Evidence stipulates that a declaration has the consequence of accepting “the jurisdiction with respect to the crimes of relevance to the situation.” Thus, the declaration has the same legal effect as a State referral serving to trigger the jurisdiction of the ICC. As the OTP explained, a State referral allows the ICC to investigate and prosecute perpetrators belonging to all parties to an armed conflict (Situation in Uganda). Therefore, based upon the declarations, the OTP has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine by whomever.

Admittedly, the idea that the ICC has jurisdiction over the MH17 incident does not mean that the ICC can and may exercise it. Whether the ICC will finally intervene through prosecution depends on the OTP’s further examinations, in particular into State activities at the national level and the gravity of the incident. According to the complementary principle, the ICC was created to be a court of last resort. It is unknown whether the OTP will include the MH17 incident in its preliminary examination. If the Netherlands and other States concerned exercise criminal jurisdiction over the MH17 incident at the national level, the OTP might not step in. In addition, assuming that the MH17 incident was included in the preliminary examination, the OTP might also decide not to proceed to investigation, as there is no potential case for this incident. And last, besides the assessment of jurisdiction and admissibility, the OTP has to contemplate the interest of justice (OTP Preliminary Examination Policy). Though the declarations provide the families of these 298 victims with hope of seeking redress, they should not be too enthusiastic and expect too much from the ICC. It is a long time to wait and see. Hope, nevertheless, is better than no hope at all.

在莱顿大学研习国际法 — 乘风砥砺而行 | 国际青年法学人








研究生时,我到了中国政法大学中欧法学院。三年内需完成两个硕士项目,即中国法硕士项目和欧盟和国际法硕士项目。读研期间,我有幸能够上不同的国际法课程,从不同的角度继续深入了解国际法。中国法项目,有曾涛老师和现任科隆大学的伯阳老师,分别从国际法学者角度和国际法基本原则角度进行授课。欧盟和国际法项目有国际公法单元,其中包含国际法(Rosemary Byrne老师很不错),国际组织法课程,此外还有国际人权法和法治单元。这些课程都是上午老师上课,下午由博士生组织研讨,运用上午课程中的理论知识来分析具体事件。

一直以来,我都比较喜欢国际公法。本科时对刑法也是魂牵梦萦。可是,由于其他原因,我不太敢想未来的职业规划。研究生一年级,法律谈判课的老师让我们学会真实的面对自己的想法,了解自己的需求,剖析自己的性格。研究生二年级,我到厦门大学参加了国际法的暑期班。Nicolas Michel教授详细的讲授了国际刑法的基础问题。我从中了解到国际法和刑法交叉的国际刑法。由于那次暑假班,我第一次知道了莱顿大学。紧接着,从几个政法大学的学姐口中了解到了国家留学基金委。读博的念头就在脑海中播下了种子,并开始慢慢发芽。其实,研究生一年级并没有想好具体研究方向。二年级,上段提到的一次研讨课偶然的成为了我申请博士的前奏。(现在看来是的,当时可没这么想过)有次,辅导老师要求我们从国内法和国际法的角度分析无人机的定点清除(targeted killings)行为。我们小组负责从国际法的角度进行分析。后来,该研讨话题成为了我欧盟法和国际法的毕业论文。随后,中国法的硕士毕业论文则进一步从国际人道法的角度分析定点清除中恐怖分子的法律地位。研究生第三年,我一边完成毕业论文,一边构思研究计划申请学校。在完成两个毕业论文的过程中,我逐渐了解国际人道法,喜欢上了这个不同于国内法的法律。同时,我也慢慢地喜欢上分析违反国际人道法规则的行为。最后,幸运的我获得了留学基金委的支持,顺利地来到莱顿大学法学院开始了国际刑法的研究。我现在的博士论文主题是:《罗马规约》作为习惯国际法的证据。(原主题为:《罗马规约》中的战争罪和习惯国际法。后文会提及为何扩大。)


我了解到,法学院分布在两个校区,莱顿校区和海牙校区。莱顿校区有两栋法学院教学楼,其中一栋在Kamerlingh Onnes Gebouw (KOG),主要是本科和硕士项目的教室,同时也是法学院的员工办公室。另外一栋法学院教学楼靠近莱顿天文台旁边。海牙校区办公楼和教学楼分布在海牙火车站附近以及海牙市中心。火车站的12楼和13楼是国际公法部门的主要办公场所。12楼是研究员办公室,也是格劳秀斯国际法律研究中心所在地。13楼是食堂和教室。火车站旁边,也有法学院的教学楼。

博士生在荷兰被视为员工。芩萱学姐在乌特勒支的经验里对此有详细的介绍。除公法部门,莱顿法学院并非所有的中国博士生在KOG都有办公室。(其他系在天文台或者流动于各处研究) 国际公法系的博士生一般是3到4个同事共用一个办公室。根据不同情况,国际公法系的博士生办公室被分别安排在KOG或海牙火车站的12楼。我的办公室在莱顿校区的KOG。每年9月份开学,KOG到处是有活力的本科生,人来人往,络绎不绝。法学院主楼KOG,地处莱顿市中心,面对河流和公园。午餐后,你可以到附近的咖啡馆喝一杯咖啡,或者点一杯荷兰特色的新鲜薄荷热茶。休息时间,平日持续大约半小时。此段时间,主要是社交和信息共享。你可以和同事聊聊和导师的关系,聊聊生活,国内外新闻,有趣的见闻,当然还有研究。有时你也可以换换环境,到学院或者学校图书馆工作,甚至到海牙进行研究。


提到海牙,那必须要滔滔不绝了。海牙是很多国际(准国际)刑事法庭所在地。她是前南斯拉夫国际刑事法庭,国际刑事法院,以及黎巴嫩特别法庭所在地。如果你学有余力,毕业答辩前,或许可以申请到某一个法庭作为实习生或访问学者,以获得更深刻的实践体验。其次,她是闻名遐迩的和平宫国际法院所在地。从莱顿火车站到和平宫,乘坐城际火车最快12分钟就抵达海牙中央火车站,然后再换乘24路公交或1路电车到和平宫站。若居住莱顿,每天往返两地,交通费用还是蛮贵的。和平宫图书馆的国际法资料馆藏十分丰富。每年你只要支付30欧元,办一张和平宫图书卡。随后,你就可以借阅书籍,或远程登录图书馆下载电子资源(2014年10欧元,但不能远程登录电子资源数据库)。再次,她有上百个非政府间组织,包含了国际法促进中心和T.M.S. Asser Institute。后者定期组织国际法的讲座或讨论活动,而且他们还有专门的研究员。另外,我们耳熟能详的就是海牙国际法学院(The Hague Academy of International Law)。海牙国际法学院每年会在和平宫举办暑假班,分别讲习国际公法和国际私法。其讲习教授都是闻名内外的国际法专家,他们的演讲稿也都是非常珍贵的学术研究二手资料。历届演讲稿事后都会被汇编成册,并由Brill|Nijhoff出版社出版。这些册子都可以在和平宫图书馆获取。(Brill|Nijhoff 原名Martinus Nijhoff Publisher。之前属于Kluwer旗下,总部在海牙。2003年并入有300多年历史的出版社Brill旗下。Brill总部在莱顿哦!有兴趣的同学可以去到此一游,存照留恋。)2015年,格劳秀斯国际法律研究中心和海牙国际法学院合作,举办了第一届国际刑法的暑假班。该暑假班邀请了世界各地国际刑法教授进行讲习,时间持续了两周。2015年的讲习主题是性别犯罪。学员人数有限,全球约30人。学费昂贵,1250欧元,且不包含住宿。由于是专题讲习,学员必须有一定的国际刑法基础。如果你想了解相关领域的最新研究或法庭实践的现状,它一定不会令你失望的。



我们系的博士生工作,是在两个导师的指导下进行的。第一导师,必须是教授。第二导师,可以是副教授(associate professor)或者助理教授(assistant professor)。一般而言,只要第一导师同意接收你,你就获得了入学的门票。法学院为博士生提供了其他的辅助性培养课程。第一年,我上了英语课程。首先,通过测试,确定英语程度,然后只需要导师签字,就可以免费上英语课。第二年,我上了学术英语写作,以及法哲学课程。学术英语写作课入学,除入学测试外,还需半小时内写作500字左右,以便分班。学校免费提供该课程的课本和材料,课间提供免费咖啡和热茶。6次法哲学课非常不错,从方法论角度分析法学研究作为科学的问题。这些都是英文授课。另外,还有一二年级博士生的如何写研究计划的课。其他课程,例如法社会学,如何进行访问等都是荷兰语授课。对于外部博士生而言,这些课程都不是必修课。

除博士研究技能培养课程外,学院有博客,博士生可及时针对最近事件,个人研究发表观点。这是分享信息和表达观点的不错平台。博客主要是400-500字的英文短文,会有人负责编辑你的文章。另外,法学院还提供了写作诊所(writing clinic)。一学期两次,有教授负责协调,大约4-5人,持续约2-3小时。具体是否每次都举行,得看参与人数(至少三人)。讨论内容主要是博士生所写文章。具体流程为:首先提交申请,其次提交讨论章节,再次阅读他人提交的章节并就文章内容,结构,逻辑给出意见,最后就是大家面对面的讨论了。因此,如果有四人参加讨论,那么你得阅读并评论其他三人的文章。讨论形式比较随意,讨论过程时间紧凑。




我能够申请到现在的导师William Schabas教授,是偶然,也是我的幸运。他是出生在美国,成长在加拿大,工作在英国、爱尔兰和荷兰,居住在英国伦敦和法国巴黎的国际人权法和国际刑法学者。他在莱顿大学国际法硕士项目高级课程有教学任务。每年10月份,Schabas教授就开始每两周往返于伦敦和海牙的授课。我之前都是从项目协调老师处拿到他的授课表,知道他什么时候会到海牙。随后,我得主动给他发邮件,询问是否有空,约时间见面。如果有完成的章节需要讨论,则需要提前一周左右发到他的邮箱。他一般会在面谈前回馈邮件。他会去看我的脚注,并指出我对一些观点的误解。针对他的评论,如果我有不太明白的地方,会和他当面再聊,或者将新修改的段落给他看。如果没有文章讨论,我一般都是将个人研究过程中发现的问题,以及一些思考写下来。面谈中,我会聊最近做了什么,研究中出现了哪些疑惑、问题,接下来计划做什么,最后再问问他什么时候有空。我和他的面谈,是一场非常高效率的头脑风暴过程。有时候半小时,有时候一个小时。头脑风暴结束后,我会发现我有好多工作需要做。或许因为我是比较主动的学生,所以他从不会问我什么时候完成文章,什么时候下次见面。从Schabas教授身上,我看到了治学的严谨。另外,我最喜欢他无处不在的幽默感哈。(不同于荷兰人的怪趣味。比如:在阳台上放一个趴着的人模型。)

博士四年,时间很短,需要珍惜。于我而言,除去生活和社交,四年主要是培养独立研究能力,提高写作能力的训练。这是我自己的工作,一个人的工作。导师是灯塔,能在第一时间发现你是否会触礁。同时,灯塔也不一定完全正确。我自己才是舵手,能否识别,能否主动改变方向,需要自己的悟性和判断。经过第一年的研究和讨论,Schabas教授建议我扩大主题。那样,我第一年关于习惯国际法的阅读写作,仍能继续用到毕业论文中。然而,我需要在同样的写作字数范围内,读更多的文章,看更多的材料,写更多的章节。这是对我自己分析归纳写作能力的挑战,或许导师也希望借此让我发掘自我的潜力。当第二导师Doctor Robert Heinsch问我为什么改变主题的时候,我不可能回答:“Schabas教授的建议”。这样的回答只会让我处于尴尬的情境。经过半个月的考虑,我将旧研究主题研究方法上的困难,研究意义的限制,以及扩大后的研究意义逐一分析,最终获得了导师Robert的同意。









频道编辑:单沁彤 常玲毓


Chinese Initiative on International Law | 国际法促进中心

微信公共账号: ciil2015


Any international justice without Chinese participation will not be a true global effort.

Did the State parties fail to execute the arrest warrants against Sudan President Bashir? No

Originally Published in the Leiden Law Blog

The High Court of South Africa made a ruling to detain Sudan President Bashir after his departure. It is unknown whether the ICC will make another decision stating that South Africa failed to arrest and surrender him to The Hague. Is South Africa really obliged to execute the request to arrest and surrender him?

On 14 June 2015, based on the urgent application of Southern Africa Litigation Centre (“SASL”) to examine the decision of South Africa government to grant immunity to all State representatives to the African Union (AU) Summit,  the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, issued an order requiring the South Africa Government to prevent Sudan President Omar Al Bashir from leaving the country. On Monday 15 June 2015, the High Court held a public hearing to decide whether the Government had to execute the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (“ICC”). On the same date, the High Court held a public hearing and ruled to detain him. It said that: “the failure to detain Sudan President Omar Al Bashir is inconsistent with the Constitution, and he must be detained pending a formal request from the ICC”.However, Bashir had already left South Africa before the ruling was given. This is the first ruling to detain Bashir by a State party to the Rome Statute. (See Guardian)

In 2005, the UN Security Council referred the Darfur situation to the ICC (Resolution 1593). In 2009 and 2010, the ICC issued two arrest warrants against Bashir for alleged war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity during the 2003 Darfur conflict. Until now, the execution of the two arrest warrants is still pending. Despite the arrest warrants, Bashir still travels abroad. Apart from South Africa, he has also visited other State parties to the Rome Statute, including Malawi, Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (“DRC”).

When Bashir travelled abroad, a question arises as to whether the host State ought to arrest him and surrender him to the ICC. The ICC has decided that Malawi, Chad and the DRC failed to cooperate with ICC in his arrest and surrender. It seems that the High Court of South Africa tried to cooperate, while it is uncertain whether the ICC will make another decision stating that South Africa failed to cooperate. However, I will argue that these parties did not fail to comply with the request of the ICC.

State parties do indeed have an obligation to cooperate with the ICC, as it is a party to the Rome Statute. However, they are not obliged to arrest and surrender Bashir to The Hague by simply relying on Article 27(2) of the Rome Statute. Firstly, Bashir still enjoys immunity. As shown, the ICC was authorized with prima facia jurisdiction by the SC Resolution. Since the Head of State immunity is a challenge to the exercise of jurisdiction, the ICC should then decide whether Bashir still enjoys immunity to prevent the ICC from further proceedings. In fact, Sudan did not waive the Head of State immunity, and it is inappropriate to conclude that the SC referral indicates that Bashir’s immunity was waived.

Secondly, it appears that Article 27(2) reflects a rule of non-immunity of Head of State before the ICC, but it is unclear whether this will apply to the Darfur situation. The issue of jurisdiction is distinct from that of applicable law. Article 27(2) is only applicable for parties to the Rome Statute, while Sudan is a non-party State. In addition, the SC Resolution 1593 did not explicitly or implicitly express that Article 27(2) or the whole Rome Statute will automatically apply.

Furthermore, conceding but not admitting Article 27 (2) may apply to Sudan, there is no hint showing that State parties agreed to refuse the immunity of Bashir. There are various understandings of Article 27 (2), which lead to uncertain answers on the issue. It might be interpreted that State parties refuse to grant immunity to the Head of other State parties. Alternatively, a State party may waive the immunity of its own Head by ratifying the Rome Statute. It is impossible to conclude that Article 27(2) implies that State parties agreed to refuse the immunity of the Head of non-party States, such as Bashir. The SC Resolution still did not indicate that there is an implied agreement among voting States to refuse his immunity.

Last, a claim that a customary international rule of the Head of State non-immunity is emerging is unconvincing. In the Arrest Warrant case, the ICJ concluded that there is a customary international rule of Head of State immunity, regardless of the nature of the crime. The ICC has tried to establish an exception to the customary international law in the Malawi decision. Its reasoning has some merits but is not entirely satisfactory. Additionally, there is a treaty obligation to respect the Head of State immunity. Pursuant to Article 4 of the 2002 Constitutive Act of the AU, the AU has the right to intervene in a Member State in respect of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in accordance with a Decision of its Assembly. On 3 July 2009, the African Union Assembly passed a Decision expressing that its member States should refuse to cooperate in the arrest and surrender of Bashir to the ICC based on immunity under Article 98 of the Rome Statute. It seems that Article 98 allows the customary obligation and other treaty obligation to prevail over the request for arrest and surrender to the ICC. South Africa is also a member State of the AU. Therefore, if there are contradictory obligations regarding immunity, the obligation of South Africa to respect for immunity will prevail over the obligation to arrest and surrender.

To sum up, these State parties did not fail to comply with the obligation to satisfy the request to arrest and surrender of Bashir.




1. 游客应当遵守他国法律




2. 一国对游客有属地管辖权



3. 游客应在何种程度上了解外国法律