On March 4, 2009, the International Criminal Court issued its first ever arrest warrant against a sitting head of state, Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir. The warrant, issued in relation to the situation in the Darfur region of Sudan, was notable both for its inclusion of charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and for its exclusion of charges of genocide. On appeal, the decision not to include the genocide charges in the warrant was unanimously overruled for an error in law regarding the standard of proof utilized to determine the sufficiency of mens rea. The International Criminal Court is the only permanent international adjudicatory body tasked with the criminal adjudication of individuals accused of the most serious crimes of international concern. In overruling this decision, therefore, the International Criminal Court not only standardized the evidentiary thresholds for the prosecution of genocide charges in its Chambers, but at the same time distinguished itself among the growing field of international adjudicatory bodies.
David F. Crowley-Buck,
Unreasonable Reasonableness: Standardizing Procedural Norms of the ICC Through Al Bashir,
B.C. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev.
E. Supp. 15