Home / Events / Muddying the water: interpreting the Rome Statute
Muddying the water: interpreting the Rome Statute
Date: 18 November 2015
Time: 19h00 - 20h30
Venue: Antarctica, World Forum Building, The Hague

Attendance at this side event requires prior accreditation from the Secretariat of the ICC Assembly of States Parties.

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the Government of Finland are hosting a side event at the 14th session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

President Omar al-Bashir’s attendance of the African Union (AU) summit in South Africa in June 2015 – notwithstanding the ICC warrant for his arrest – poses legal questions about immunity for heads of state charged with international crimes.

Do African states indeed face competing legal obligations arising from the Rome Statute and other laws on immunity? What is the link between these competing obligations and the tensions between the ICC and the AU? These tensions are equally apparent in the application of Rule 68 of the ICC Rules of Procedure and Evidence that allows a prior recorded witness testimony to be introduced at trial. The application of this rule in on-going ICC cases has been questioned and poses a new set of challenges for the relationship between African states and the ICC.

This event will discuss the competing obligations that states parties may face on the question of immunity for heads of state, including the conduct of parties under Articles 97 and 98 of the Rome Statute. It also deals with the application of Rule 68.

Chair: Allan Ngari, Researcher, ISS


  • Dr Max du Plessis, Senior Research Associate, ISS, Associate Professor, University of KwaZulu-Natal, and practising advocate
  • Adv Njonjo Mue, Human Rights and Transitional Justice Expert, Kenyans for Truth with Peace and Justice
  • Dr Korir Sing’oei, Legal Advisor and Head of Legal and Intergovernmental Liaison Office, Office of the Deputy President of Kenya
This event is made possible with funding from the Open Society Foundations. The ISS is also grateful for support from the following members of the ISS Partnership Forum: Governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
World Forum Building
The Hague
Allan Ngari
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