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Part 3 General Principles of Criminal Law: Principes Généraux Du Droit Pénal, Art.27 Irrelevance of official capacity/Défaut de pertinence de la qualité officielle

William A. Schabas

From: The International Criminal Court: A Commentary on the Rome Statute (2nd Edition)

William A Schabas

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 13 June 2024

Immunity from jurisdiction — Elements of crimes — International criminal law, conduct of proceedings — Evidence

This chapter comments on Article 27 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Article 27 consists two paragraphs that are often confounded but fulfil different functions. Paragraph 1 denies a defence of official capacity, i.e. official capacity as a Head of State or Government, a member of a Government or parliament, an elected representative or a government official shall not exempt a person from criminal responsibility under the Statute. Paragraph 2 amounts to a renunciation, by States Parties to the Rome Statute, of the immunity of their own Head of State to which they are entitled by virtue of customary international law. In contrast with paragraph 1, it is without precedent in international criminal law instruments.

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