Proceedings of the 19th International Academic Conference, Florence

THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT AND THE NATIONAL JUDICIAL SYSTEM IN AFRICAN STATES: ANALYSIS OF THE FAILSAFE JUDICIAL MECHANISM

LAWAL OLAWALE

Abstract:

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has opened investigations into eight cases and all of them are in Africa, thus fuelling the view that the Court is established to prosecute serious crimes in weak and developing states. Academic explanations too seem to support the assertion that the Court is targeting Africa and Africans albeit, inappropriately. This work investigates the factors which make the Court more effective in Africa than elsewhere and most potent being that national judicial systems in African states have been compromised by the perpetrators of the crimes under the jurisdiction of the ICC. More critical is the fact that the Court does not trump a vibrant national judicial system. This study links the preponderance of the ICC in Africa directly to the political system which produces incidences of genocide, crime against humanity, war crimes and failure of the national judicial system to investigate and prosecute these crimes. The conclusion of this work is that the ICC is a failsafe justice mechanism which holds that states have primary responsibility to investigate and prosecute Rome Statute crimes. This failure in African states explains the presence of the ICC rather than the theoretical deflections. This study is also causal comparative relating to the views of African leaders and citizens of the ICC operations. It interrogates whose interest the ICC serves, western world or justice?

Keywords: ICC, Justice, Crimes, Africa

DOI: 10.20472/IAC.2015.019.101

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