Friday, September 2, 2016

Liu on the ICC and al-Bashir,

Zihang Liu has posted The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir:    
The atrocities perpetrated by the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Janjaweed militia during the third post-2003 Darfuri conflict constituted the first internationally condemned and acknowledged genocide of the twenty-first century. With the indictment of incumbent Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, the International Criminal Court (ICC) not only addressed the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, but also challenged international immunity for heads of state. This indictment marked the first time that a sitting president of a state has ever been indicted by the ICC, which has led to significant and unprecedented legal and political discussion. However, as of 2016, the ICC seems to be incapable of enforcing the warrant since al-Bashir remains at large seven years after his initial indictment.

This essay examines the history of the conflicts in Darfur, the reasoning articulated by the ICC for its indictment of al-Bashir, and the international community’s reaction to the ICC’s judgment. The author then reviews the ongoing discussion that surrounds the issue of state immunity in the context of the current enforcement dilemmas and the future prospects for the ICC. The essay then concludes by assessing the significance of the case and its long-term legal implications.