The International Criminal Court and Africa: Contextualizing the Anti-ICC Narrative

African Journal of International Criminal Justice 2(1-2), 2016

23 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2017

See all articles by Brendon J. Cannon

Brendon J. Cannon

Khalifa University

Dominic Pkalya

Institute for Strategic Dialogue

Bosire Maragia

University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

Date Written: October 30, 2017

Abstract

This article critiques attempts by some in Africa to brand the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a neocolonial institution and stooge of the West. These arguments accuse the ICC of playing a double standard, being overly focused on trying African defendants, and warn that the Court risks exacerbating factionalism and ethnic divisions thereby threatening peace and reconciliation efforts. Although we neither defend nor champion the ICC’s mandate, we deem such criticisms as hyperbole. At best, they attempt to whitewash the instrumental role played by African states in the birth of the Court and ignore the fact that many of the ICC cases were referred there by African governments. Furthermore, the current African narrative understates the ICC’s potential to midwife local judiciaries and contribute positively towards conflict resolution in Africa through the promotion of at least a measure of accountability and offers of justice, thereby taming elite immunity and impunity in states where justice regimes are either weak or non-existent. Until African states strengthen their judiciaries to ensure such references to the ICC are indeed a last resort, the Court will continue to remain the only credible forum for states emerging from conflict and seeking justice and reconciliation.

Keywords: International Criminal Court (ICC), Security, African Union (AU), War Crimes, International Law

Suggested Citation

Cannon, Brendon J. and Pkalya, Dominic and Maragia, Bosire, The International Criminal Court and Africa: Contextualizing the Anti-ICC Narrative (October 30, 2017). African Journal of International Criminal Justice 2(1-2), 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3061703

Brendon J. Cannon (Contact Author)

Khalifa University ( email )

Institute of International and Civil Security
PO Box 127788
Abu Dhabi, 00000
United Arab Emirates
97124018225 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.ku.ac.ae/

Dominic Pkalya

Institute for Strategic Dialogue ( email )

Bosire Maragia

University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) ( email )

1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250
United States

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