Assembly of States Parties Side Event: Through the looking glass — Imagining the future of International Criminal Justice (REPORT)
To mark the first anniversary of the establishment of the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability (AGJA), the Africa Group and the Wayamo Foundation hosted a panel discussion on the future of global accountability featuring Africa Group members Dapo Akande (Nigeria), Richard Goldstone (South Africa), Hassan Jallow (The Gambia), Athaliah Molokomme (Botswana) and Fatiha Serour (Algeria) and moderated by Wayamo’s Research Director Mark Kersten.
Artist Bradley McCallum’s exhibition, “Weights and Measures: portraits of justice” provided a backdrop to a discussion on the ongoing challenges facing the project of international criminal justice.
The event was opened by the President of the International Criminal Court Judge Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi.
“A year ago, I had the honor to speak at the event at which the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability was publicly launched,” she said. “I said then that I believed that the Group had an important role to play, and that I was confident that it could make significant contributions to advance efforts for accountability.
“I am happy to say that I was not wrong. The Africa Group has established itself as an important player, with a voice of expertise and commitment.”
During the panel discussion, the speakers touched on topics ranging the possible forums and forms for dialogue between African states and the ICC, the future of hybrid tribunals in Africa, whether the ICC could concede the legal arguments to African states calling for “reform from the inside”, and South Africa‘s position towards the ICC after its notice of withdrawal from the Rome Statute.
The panelists and audience also engaged with McCallum, whose project aims to achieve a greater understanding of international criminal justice by engaging with defendants, international justice practitioners, and victims of mass violence.
The event was attended by 150 people and took place at the Marriott Ball Room in The Hague on the sidelines of 2016 ICC Assembly of States Parties. The funders included the Ford Foundation as well as the governments of Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.