Emory International Law Review


On July 17, 2018, dignitaries and jurists from around the globe gathered at the permanent premises of the first international criminal justice institution to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Rome Statute, the foundational treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC or the Court). After decades in the making and to its detractors¿ vexation, the ICC is now a fact of life. Its hurdles are no longer existential but experiential. The ongoing saga surrounding Omar al-Bashir exemplifies the Court¿s current challenges in bringing perpetrators of atrocities to justice and fulfilling the promise of accountability. This Comment posits that, on the eve of the Rome Statute¿s ¿platinum anniversary,¿ the ICC demonstrated its growing diplomatic maturity with a strategic pre-trial decision regarding a Member State¿s flouting of its obligation to deliver the Sudanese president to justice. The ruling ostensibly concerned South Africa¿s culpability for non-compliance with the ICC¿s outstanding arrest warrant for al-Bashir¿s alleged crimes under the court¿s jurisdiction, including genocide and crimes against humanity. This Comment argues that the decision also was a significant milestone in an evolving court¿s increasingly complex relationship with the ¿parent¿ organs on which it relies for enforcement, the Assembly of States Parties and United Nations Security Council.