Lunch seminar with Luisa Giannini

The politics and practice of international (criminal) law: contestation over the understanding of Immunity of Heads of State in the Al Bashir Case

Ongoing cases in international courts and tribunals are sites where specific understandings on the interpretation and application of legal norms are contrasted. Luisa’s doctoral research discusses how these disputes over the interpretation and application of a legal norm can be triggered by events that take place within or outside international courts and what are their effects over the meaning of this norm.

In recent years, there has been a series of practices of resistance from African countries regarding the Al Bashir Case in the International Criminal Court. They range from small practices such as a decision to ignore or not to comply with a court order – in this case, non-compliance with the arrest warrants – to bigger ones – like the announcement of non-cooperation or even the adoption of a mass withdrawal strategy. Even though they may have different immediate impacts, all these events have significant implications for the current context of international criminal law.

Drawing on these developments of the Al Bashir Case in the ICC, Luisa’s research seeks to investigate whether practices carried out by the different actors in the field are able to change the meaning of a legal norm, in this case, the Immunity of Heads of State.