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Immunity of Heads of State and High-Ranking State Officials for International Crimes
Admir Muratović, 2021, magistrsko delo

Opis: The present thesis is devoted to the immunity of Heads of State and high-ranking State officials, generally meaning the Heads of Government, and the Foreign Ministers, before the national and international courts, for international crimes as codified in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), namely the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression, with partial touch upon the crime of torture as well. The introductory part lays out the prosecution of State officials throughout the history all the way to the World War II, the Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials, and the developments in the decades post-World War II, with the eventual establishment of the ICC. Afterwards, the definitions and list of international crimes are discussed. Following the arguments for the rationale behind immunity and the correlation between immunity and jurisdiction, I elaborate on the various types of immunity, such as State immunity – and its subcategories personal and functional immunities – and diplomatic immunity. Thereby, I discuss at length the range of seemingly outstanding questions relating to, e.g., the scope of State officials entitled to immunity ratione personae, whether the commission of international crimes constitute officials acts, whether the immunity of State precludes a lawsuit towards State for breaches of jus cogens norms by acts that qualify as acta jure imperii, whether the diplomatic immunity pertains to high-ranking State officials other than ambassadors and diplomatic agents, etc. The explanations of other, less debatable questions, such as the distinction between personal and functional immunities for international crimes before national courts, is also provided. In the following part, I analyse the immunity of the incumbent high-ranking State officials before international courts, with a particular focus set on the ICC and Article 27 of the Rome Statute. Emphasizing provisions concerning international cooperation and judicial assistance to the ICC, I bring up Article 98 of the Rome Statute as a counterweight to the rejection of immunity before the ICC, and consider the interplay between both, Articles 27 and 98. Another point of divergence here is the question of which States fall under the scope of the term ‘third State’ in Article 98 of the Rome Statute. Furthermore, the analysis of the Al-Bashir case is provided through the application of the United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1593 (2005), as well as Articles 25 and 103 of the UN Charter. Additionally, I intend to provide a method of resolving some of the ambiguities stemming out of the seemingly contradicting Rome Statute provisions by applying the rules of treaty interpretation, in particular its subsidiary means, discerning the object and purpose of the Rome Statute through the lenses of its Preamble. In the final part, I have sought out various other concepts that could supersede the immunity of high-ranking State officials for international crimes, including the jus cogens international crime exception to immunity, the obligation aut dedere aut judicare, and the universal jurisdiction.
Ključne besede: State immunity, immunity ratione personae, immunity ratione materiae, Heads of State, high-ranking State officials, international crimes, international courts, International Criminal Court (ICC), Rome Statute, Al-Bashir case, UN Security Council
Objavljeno: 23.07.2021; Ogledov: 109; Prenosov: 6
.pdf Celotno besedilo (998,44 KB)

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