The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official site] on Monday announced [press release] that it will refer the Kingdom of Jordan to the United Nations Security Council [official site] over its failure to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir [official website]. The referral comes after the ICC decided issued two arrest warrants [text, PDF; second warrant, PDF] for Al-Bashir for the alleged genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity [JURIST report] committed in Darfur. However, because Sudan is not a part of the ICC, it is up to member nations [JURIST report] to effect an arrest if the suspected individual is in their jurisdiction. The ICC is referring Jordan because they granted him immunity as a head of state and refused to arrest him when he visited in March for a summit.
Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court found that the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, a State Party to the ICC Rome Statute since 2002, failed to comply with its obligations under the Statute by not executing the Court’s request for the arrest of Omar Al-Bashir and his surrender to the Court while he was on Jordanian territory attending the League of Arab States’ Summit on 29 March 2017. The Chamber decided to refer the matter of Jordan’s non-compliance to the Assembly of States Parties of the Rome Statute (ASP) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
The pre-trial chamber held on Monday that Jordan had not complied [decision, PDF] with its obligations under Article 87 [text] of the Rome Statute by not arresting him during a March 2017 visit, “thereby preventing the Court from exercising its functions and powers under the Statute in connection with the criminal proceedings instituted against Omar Al-Bashir.” It is the ICC’s position that there is no immunity afforded to heads of state when there in an arrest warrant and international law mandates an arrest.
According to the ICC, Bashir [ICC backgrounder] is the first sitting president of a country to be charged with the crime of genocide. The court has previously found South Africa committed [JURIST report] of the same noncompliance, but chose not to issue a referral [press release].