n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - A new regional International Criminal Court for Africa? : comments

Volume 25, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



International criminal law has sometimes been criticised for 'providing victors in a conflict with an opportunity to demonise their opponents, sanitise their crimes and perpetuate injustice' (W Schabas 2 ed (2004) at 1).Similarly, since the International Criminal Court (ICC) was established there have been concerns that the Court has only concentrated on the 'usual suspects' with some arguing that it has illustrated a bias towards prosecuting situations in Africa while neglecting similar violations of the Rome Statute on other continents (see further M du Plessis 'The International Criminal Court and its Work in Africa: Confronting the Myths' (2008) Institute for Security Studies Occasional Paper No. 173 at 5). They are captured in statements to the effect that the ICC is a 'hegemonic tool of western powers which is targeting or discriminating against Africans', as all of the situations to date have come from one continent (ibid). On the other hand, there are concernsthat this 'rhetoric of condemnation' (that the ICC is 'anti-African, and merely an agent of neo-colonialism or neo-imperialism') may damage the institution to such an extent that it is simply abandoned (see N Fritz 'Black-white debate does no justice to a nuanced case' 13 August 2008).

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