ICC invites submissions on the duty to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir
On 29 March 2018, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an order in Prosecutor v Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir, calling for submissions from, amongst others, professors of international law, on the Kingdom of Jordan’s appeal against the Pre-Trial Chamber’s decision regarding Jordan’s failure to arrest and surrender Al-Bashir whilst he was in the country.
There are currently two pending arrest warrants issued by the ICC against Al-Bashir. The arrest warrants are for five counts of crimes against humanity (murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape), two counts of war crimes (intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population or individual civilians not taking part in hostilities, and pillaging), and three counts of genocide, allegedly committed in Darfur from 2003 to 2008.
In March 2017, Jordan – a state party to the Rome Statute of the ICC (Rome Statute) – failed to execute the ICC’s request to arrest and surrender Al-Bashir to the ICC while he was attending the League of Arab States’ Summit on Jordanian territory. The Pre-Trial Chamber decided to refer the matter of Jordan’s non-compliance to the Assembly of States Parties and the United Nations Security Council. In March 2018, Jordan filed an appeal against the Pre-Trial Chamber’s decision.
The ICC has indicated that it considers it desirable to invite observations on the merits of the legal issues raised in Jordan’s appeal, as these legal issues may have implications beyond the particular case. Such observations have been invited from the following:
- International organisations: The United Nations, the African Union, the European Union , the League of Arab States and the Organization of American States have been invited to submit observations by 16h00 on 16 July 2018.
- States parties: States parties to the Rome Statute have been invited to request leave to submit observations by 16h00 on 30 April 2018, which must contain a summary of the initial observations and the interest of the state party.
- Professors of international law: Professors on international law have been invited to request leave to submit observations by 16h00 on 30 April 2018, which must contain a summary of the initial observations, the particular expertise of the professor in the legal questions raised, and a summary of the conclusions to those questions.
Following the requests for leave to submit observations, the Appeals Chamber will thereafter render a further decision selecting the states parties and the professors of international law considered best-placed to submit fuller observations, as well as the modalities for making submissions and for responses to be filed.
The court order is accessible here.
The press release issued by the ICC is accessible here.
Please note: The information contained in this note is for general guidance on matters of interest, and does not constitute legal advice. For any enquiries, please contact us at [email protected].