More than any other international criminal tribunal, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has, in its early years, pursued cases against heads of state. The Court issued arrest warrants for President Omar al Bashir of Sudan and for Muammar Gaddafi while he was Libya's head of state, and it charged Uhuru Kenyatta shortly before he became head of state of Kenya. These attempts to prosecute heads of states have not only led to tensions between the Court and the African Union,1 but also pit the desire to hold senior leaders accountable for grave international crimes against the customary international law principle that certain senior state officials—especially heads of state—have immunity from foreign criminal jurisdiction by virtue of their status, including immunity from arrest and their inviolability when abroad.2
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