African States and the International Criminal Court

Par Oumar Ba
Bulletin du Centre FrancoPaix en résolution des conflits et missions de paix | Vol. 5 no 2

  • States that are presumed to be weak have devised strategies that allow them to use international courts as fora for the pursuit of their security and political interests.
  • There is a whole field of critique that lays beyond the spectacular and episodic shortcomings of the International Criminal Court (such as scandals, the acquittals, the withdrawals, etc.). These events are indeed just the symptoms of the problems that underpin the Court's organization, functions, and place in international justice and politics.
  • Fragile or fragmented states in highly volatile political or security environments often invite the Court's intervention, as in the Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mali.
  • These states would cooperate with the Court if ensured that the ICC's intervention would not extend to their own agents, while the Office of the Prosecutor selectively engaged in investigations and prosecutions..
  • African states, constituting the largest regional bloc in the ICC membership, show prima facie a widespread adoption of the norm of individual criminal accountability in the face of international crimes. But this claim hides more complex dynamics.
  • There is a need to re-think the place of African states in the international system, even those deemed to be "fragile".

Février 2020
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