Policy Paper: Africa and the ICC – Building bridges and reaching compromise

Julio Ottaviano News and Events, News and Events AGJA

The Wayamo Foundation is very proud to present its policy paper on the relationship between Africa and the International Criminal Court (ICC):

Building bridges and reaching compromise:
Constructive engagement in the Africa-ICC relationship
Report author: Mark Kersten
Report contributor: Angela Mudukuti
Editor: Michael Benedict
May 2018

The Africa-ICC relationship has received a tremendous amount of attention in recent years. Not only have dozens of articles and reports been written on the subject, but numerous conferences, symposia and diplomatic meetings have sought to assess the crux of the relationship and the concerns that African states and communities have regarding the Court. Despite all of this time, effort, and energy, it cannot be said today that the problems at the heart of this relationship have been resolved.

Over many years, the Wayamo Foundation has engaged with scholars, researchers, diplomats, practitioners, human rights advocates and political figures on the subject of the Africa-ICC relationship. Indeed, understanding and improving the relationship is a core feature of Wayamo’s mandate. This report thus represents much of the knowledge regarding the relationship that the Wayamo Foundation has built up and gleaned over the last year. This policy report was further inspired in part by discussions held during the South African-German International Justice Dialogue. The event was initiated by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and organized by the Wayamo Foundation. It was held under Chatham House Rules, from 27-28 March 2017 in Pretoria.

In the following pages, the report focuses on four key topics that have proven central to the relationship between the Court and the African continent:
1. Perceptions regarding the ICC;
2. The relationship between the Court, the Security Council and Head of State Immunity;
3. The Peace-Justice debate; and
4. Reforms of the ICC.

The report offers analysis as well as recommendations on each of these critical subjects.

Above all else, this report urges continued engagement on the Africa-ICC relationship by all relevant actors, including ICC member states, the court itself, civil society organisations, scholars and researchers, as well as victims and their representatives. Only through positive engagement can the legitimate concerns of African states and African communities be heard. Only through dialogue and negotiation can a better and more effective ICC be realized.

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