Past event

Research Event

Heads of States Immunities for International Crimes: Prospects for Consensus or Irreconcilable Impasse?

Chatham House, London

International Law Programme, International Law Discussion Group

Event documents

Meeting Summary
pdf | 182.31 KB

Participants

Max du Plessis, Senior Research Associate, Institute for Security Studies; Associate Tenant, Doughty Street Chambers
Carla Ferstman, Director, REDRESS
Professor Concepción Escobar Hernández, Member, International Law Commission; Special Rapporteur, Immunity of State Officials from Foreign Criminal Jurisdiction
Chair: Elizabeth Wilmshurst, Distinguished Fellow, International Law Programme, Chatham House

Overview

The International Law Commission (ILC) has been considering the topic of immunity of state officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction since 2006, as part of its mandate to promote the progressive development of international law and its codification. While the International Criminal Court does not recognize immunities for sitting heads of states, the African Union adopted a protocol in 2014, providing immunity from prosecution to any serving African Union head of state and extending the jurisdiction of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights to include criminal jurisdiction over international crimes. 
 
The meeting will discuss the divergences in approaches to the understanding of the nature and role of immunities for international crimes, having regard to the work of the ILC, as well as the prospects for strengthening legal certainty in this area of law. 
 
Please note that we will be serving a sandwich lunch at 12:30.
 
This event is held in association with Doughty Street Chambers and REDRESS and is accredited with 1.5 CPD points.