African Journal of International Criminal Justice

Article

The ICC or the ACC

Defining the Future of the Immunities of African State Officials

Keywords ICC, ACC, immunities of African state officials, customary international law rules on immunities, Article 46A bis of the 2014 Malabo Protocol
Authors Aghem Hanson Ekori
Author's information

381575 Aghem Hanson Ekori
Doctoral candidate at UNISA, 2020, LLM, UNISA, LLB, University of Dschang, Cameroon.
  • Abstract

      The International Criminal Court (ICC), whose treaty came into force about 18 years ago, was highly celebrated at the time of its creation in 1998 by many African states, led by the African Union (AU), even though it does not recognize the immunities of state officials before its jurisdiction. Conversely, the African Criminal Court (ACC), which was established in 2014 through a Protocol by the AU, recognizes the personal immunities of serving African state officials before its jurisdiction. Accordingly, this article argues that both Article 46A bis of the Malabo Protocol and Article 27 of the Rome Statute are neither inconsistent nor violative of the customary international law rules on the immunities of state officials. It further suggests that the immunity provision in Article 46A bis may be an affront to justice to the people of Africa as long as the state officials are in office despite its seeming consistency with customary international law rule. Finally, in exploring the future of the immunities of African state officials, the article will examine the possibility of blending the jurisdictions of both the ICC and the ACC through the complementarity principle since both courts are aimed at ending impunity for international crimes.

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