2009 34 South African Yearbook of International Law 57

In this article, Tladi assesses the relationship between the ICC and the African Union, mainly from a political context.


On 3 July 2009, the African Union (AU) Assembly of Heads of State and Government (Summit) adopted a decision on the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) indictment of the President of Sudan (decision), Omar Hassan Al Bashir. 1 The essence of the decision was that African states would not cooperate with the ICC in the execution of the arrest warrant issued against Al Bashir. The decision placed African states party to the Rome Statute establishing the ICC,2 in the unenviable position of having to choose between their obligations as member states of the AU on the one hand, and their obligations as states party to the Rome Statute, on the other.

The AU decision also raises a number of critical questions about the direction of international law and international law-making from both a normative and an institutional perspective. From a purely institutional perspective, the decision raises

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