Prosecution of Heads of States and Other Senior Officials at the ICC: Map of the Scholarship

Written by

MerelMerel Alstein is Commissioning Editor at Oxford University Press responsible for publishing in the area of international law.

A few weeks ago, John Louth put together an index of discussions on the international law aspects of the Syria crisis, covering debates in blogs and newspaper articles. The idea behind it was that blog posts have become an important form of scholarly commentary and deserve to move away from their ephemeral status. A post that is widely read and appreciated when it publishes drops off the front page a few days later, but might still be hugely relevant to someone researching the topic months (or even years) later.

I have created a new map which looks at a number of issues surrounding the prosecution of heads of state and other senior officials at the ICC. Just like the Syria map, it sits on our Oxford Public International Law platform, together with OUP materials on the ICC that we have made freely available. Alongside topical questions like the impact of Kenya’s possible withdrawal from the Rome Statute and William Ruto’s request not to be continuously present at his trial, the map focuses on issues of immunity and third states’ obligations to arrest and surrender, which tend to come up time and time again. The map’s aim is to provide a quick overview of the relevant legal problems and controversies but also to create an archive of scholarship that can be referred back to when the ICC unseals a new arrest warrant for a head of state or when Bashir next threatens to visit another country.

Other issues relating to the ICC will be added to the map over time, just as the current sections will be expanded with new posts, articles and, eventually, books. I would very much welcome suggestions as to what is missing from the map and how it could be improved.

Our intention is to keep creating debate maps for important new developments or ongoing news stories that raise questions about international law. We would love to hear from you if you have an idea for a new map or if you would like to help us create one. You can send me an email at merel.alstein{at}oup(.)com.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email


No tags available

Leave a Comment

Comments for this post are closed


Jordan says

October 14, 2013

if you are gathering relevant citations, please consider:
Genocide in Rwanda, State Responsibility to Prosecute or Extradite, and Nonimmunity for Heads of State and Other Public Officials, 34 Houston Journal of International Law 57-85 (2011), available at

Jens Iverson says

October 16, 2013

Dear Merel,

It's lovely to see OUP continuing on this idea. I didn't realize with the earlier "map"(perhaps "bibliography"? "Blog bibliography" Or (forgive me), "Blogiography"?) that it was limited to blogs. If it's not, a la Jordan, I'd humbly point you towards:
The Continuing Functions of Article 98 of the Rome Statute (2012). Goettingen Journal of International Law 4 (2012) 1, 131-151. Available at SSRN:

I'd also recommend investigating - it seems ideal for a project such as this. It's a project by a consortium of libraries to provide permanent repositories towards cited online material.

Regardless, bravo!


Alexander Eichener says

October 18, 2013

IV. Obligation on the Accused to be Present at the Trial

The absolutely central thesis on this rather fundamental procedural issue is the 2008 master's thesis of Anne Klerks:
"Trials in abentia in international (criminal) law".
It is freely available on the Web, and it is amazing that neither the ICC chambers nor the OTP seem to have invested even the minimal effort of 30 seconds googling to find it.