Africa Within the Justice System of the International Criminal Court: The Need for a Reform
KFG Working Paper Series, No. 2, May 2016
42 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2018
Date Written: May 2016
This article re-examines the relationship between Africa and the International Criminal Court (ICC). It traces the successive changes of the African attitude towards this Court, from states' euphoria, to hostility against its work, to regional counter-initiatives through the umbrella of the African Union (AU). The main argument goes beyond the idea of "the Court that Africa wants" in order to identify concrete reasons behind such a formal argument which may have fostered, if not enticed, the majority of African states to become ICC members and actively cooperate with it, when paradoxically some great powers have decided to stay outside its jurisdiction. It also seeks to understand, from a political and legal viewpoint, which parameters have changed since then to provoke that hostile attitude against the Court's work and the entrance of the AU into the debate through the African Common Position on the ICC. Lastly, this article explores African alternatives to the contested ICC justice system. It examines the need to reform the Rome Statute in order to give more independence, credibility and legitimacy to the ICC and its duplication to some extent by the new "Criminal Court of the African Union". Particular attention is paid to the resistance against this idea to reform the ICC justice system.
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