Ensuring that State Parties to the Roman Statute Co-operate with ICC Requests to Arrest and Surrender Suspects: Reflecting on the Role of the Security Council through the Lens of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P)

Authors Suzgo Lungu, Ntombizozuko Dyani-Mhango

ISSN: 2521-2621
Affiliations: PhD candidate, School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg; Associate Professor, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Source: African Yearbook on International Humanitarian Law, 2018, p. 119 – 145


More than a decade has passed since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued two warrants for the arrest of the former president of Sudan, Al Bashir, who is accused of committing international crimes in Darfur. The arrest warrants were accompanied by ICC requests to states parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to arrest and surrender Al Bashir to the ICC. However, a few states parties welcomed Al Bashir to their territories and failed to arrest and surrender him to the ICC, thus breaching their international obligations. The ICC has referred some of the transgressing states parties to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), but the UNSC has failed to act against them. This article examines the role of the UNSC in enforcing state cooperation with ICC requests to arrest and surrender suspects to the ICC. We argue that states that fail to cooperate with ICC requests to arrest and surrender those who are suspected of international crimes threaten international peace and security. Therefore, the UNSC must invoke its Chapter VII powers in the UN Charter, and must be guided by the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in order to enforce ICC requests when a transgressing state is referred to it.