Regional International Criminal Courts: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?
Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution (CJCR), Vol 17, No 2, 2016
31 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2016 Last revised: 4 Mar 2016
Date Written: January 10, 2016
Regionalism in international relations is a fact of life. Regional judicial implementation of international norms is relatively common in the fields of international human rights, international investment, and trade laws. There are attempts to break ground in the realm of international criminal law by creating a regional international criminal court, such as the proposed addition of the criminal jurisdiction to the African Court of Justice and Human Rights. Despite the enthusiasm surrounding the establishment of the ICC, the institution still faces numerous challenges. The ad hoc international & internationalized courts had played their roles, but their roles are limited in time and space. Consensus for establishing UN backed ad hoc tribunals is proving very difficult, as shown in the failure to refer the Syrian situation to the ICC. In view of these, as well as the proposed establishment of a criminal division of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, this paper queries whether the time for the establishment of regional courts has come, at least in Africa’s regional context. It does so by examining the theoretical basis for regionalization of international criminal law enforcement, the possible mechanisms for doing so, and critically examining the viability of the proposed African Court with criminal jurisdiction.
Keywords: International Criminal Law, International Courts and Tribunals, Regional International Criminal Courts, International Law, Regionalism
JEL Classification: K33, K10, K39, N40, N47
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation