"It is an accepted norm of international law that sitting heads of state have immunity from criminal prosecutions. A head of state is normally entitled to immunity from prosecution anywhere, even after he or she is no longer the head of state. However, in recent years we have witnessed the dramatic shift from this customary international law principle where some jurisdictions have been arresting, or threatening to arrest, former and sitting heads of state in order to institute criminal prosecutions against them. There is, however, no uniformity in the application of this action. Those jurisdictions that determine who is to be arrested or prosecuted are so selective that not all those alleged to have committed these crimes are arrested or prosecuted. On the other hand, existing jurisprudence on this subject is not firm in its application. This problem, therefore, calls for harmonisation of the application of the principle of immunity for heads of state in order to make international law reflect the real consent of states. ... The study is divided into four chapters. Chapter one addresses the background on which the study is premised, outlines the statement of the problem, objectives and their significance and the literature review. Chapter two discusses the principle of immunity as developed by prominent international lawyers, courts decisions and other generally applied principles in international law. Chapter three takes the practical application of the principle of head of state immunity against criminal prosecution in interantional law. This involves an examination of the application of the principle from selected national jurisdictions and by the International Court of Justice. Chapter four concludes the discussion and provides for necessary recommendations on the way forward." -- Introduction.
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2004.
Prepared under the supervision of Dr. Henry Onoria at the Faculty of Law, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda