(2015) Journal of International Criminal Justice

In June 2014 the African Union adopted a Protocol to expand the jurisdiction of the African Court by adding a criminal chamber. This Protocol provides that the Heads of State and other senior officials are immune from the jurisdiction of the Court. The decision to provide for immunity of Heads of State and other officials has been criticized. In this article, Dire Tladi, assesses the doctrinal objections to the AU decision in the light of the rules of international law.


In July 2014, the African Union adopted a new Protocol amending the Protocol on the African Court. In doing so it included a provision stating that certain state officials shall be immune from prosecution during their tenure of office. This article discusses whether the immunity provision is a reflection of customary international law or whether, on the contrary, it violates international law and undermines the Statute of the International Criminal Court.

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