n African Human Rights Law Journal - , the DRC and the African Court : lessons learned from the first International Criminal Court case

Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



Thomas Lubanga Dyilo will be the first person tried under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. His case will have an important effect, not only on his home country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but on the world. Through an analysis of Lubango's case and the current development of the International Criminal Court's case load, the positives and negatives of International Criminal Court jurisdiction become apparent, particularly in relation to national or international primary jurisdiction. While the International Criminal Court is crucial for the development of international judicial authority, the Court is extending its reach too eagerly and willingly. In so doing, the Court is destroying the autonomy and development of governments and judicial systems in African countries. Therefore, the International Criminal court should show more restraint in its acceptance of cases and instead pursue alternative methods of bolstering national judiciaries. To be effective, the Court's mission must first focus on teaching and encouragement of local rule of law. The Court should focus on judicial decision making only as a secondary option. Finally, the Court should be increasingly subject to United Nations Security Council referrals than to state referrals or the prosecutor's own powers.

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