European States Ask Kenya to Explain Failure to Arrest Bashir

European States Ask Kenya to Explain Failure to Arrest Bashir

The BBC reports that a number of European Union States have summoned Kenyan Ambassadors asking them to explain why Kenya failed to arrest Sudanese President Bashir when he visited Kenya last week. The International Criminal Court has issued two warrants for the arrest of President Bashir.

“They emphasized that the UK expects the government of Kenya to stand by its obligations under the Rome Statute, and as a UN member state,” a statement from the British High Commission in Nairobi said.

Should this be regarded as practice relevant for the interpretation of the relevant parts of the Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute)? Art. 31(3)a of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties provides that in the interpretation of a treaty the interpreter shall take into account “subsequent practice in the application of the treaty”. Is the act of European countries with regard to Kenya and Bashir subsequent practice indicating the lack of immunity of Bashir though he is a sitting head of State? I think it is but one would have to set against it the practice of African States which seems to be the opposite. For subsequent practice to count under Art. 31 it must “establish the agreement of the parties regarding [the treaty’s] interpretation.”

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