Book Review of 'The International Criminal Court at the Mercy of Powerful States: An Assessment of the Neo-Colonialism Claim Made by African Stakeholders' by Dr Res Schuerch, (1St Edn, Springer, 2017)
NLUA Law Review, Vol 3. No. 1, 2019
5 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2020
Date Written: February 13, 2019
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has 123 members, out of which 33 are from Africa. The participation from the Continent in the Rome Conference was overwhelming. The court was brought to life with immense enthusiasm. However, this enthusiasm was to be short-lived. This was because after coming into existence, the ICC prosecuted cases mostly from the African continent. Though much of these cases were ‘self-referrals’, it didn’t stop the critics from calling the ICC as ‘International Caucasian Court’. An unprecedented act of ‘withdrawal’ by its three African members, i.e. Burundi, South Africa and the Gambia shocked the organisation. All of these claims focused on how the ICC is biased towards its African members. But this line of argument was never supported by any concrete reasoning as to why the court is biased if it is biased. That’s why the book The International Criminal Court at the Mercy of Powerful States: An Assessment of the Neo-Colonialism Claim Made by African Stakeholders should be considered as a great contribution to this debate. Dr Res Schuerch has tried to explain the behaviour of African nation-states towards ICC through the lens of colonialism and neo-colonialism.
Keywords: ICC, Africa, Colonialism, Neo-Colonialism
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