oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - Aantekening : internasionale strafregtelike jurisdiksie vir die Afrika-hof : problematiese aspekte en die implikasies daarvan : regte
International criminal jurisdiction for the African court: Problematic aspects and the implications thereof
This note identifies and describes a number of problematic aspects arising from the conferral of international criminal jurisdiction on the African court by means of the Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, which was adopted during the 23rd ordinary session of the summit of the African Union at the end of June this year. In the protocol's draft form problematic aspects included structural and financial challenges, the court's intended jurisdictional reach and immunity from prosecution. Despite these, the African Union recently adopted the draft protocol, but with a twist (not for the better, but for the worse). This relates to immunity for sitting heads of state and senior government officials, even for customary international law crimes. It is unlikely that the instrument will be ratified by enough African states in order to give effect to the protocol, and even if it succeeds, it is doubtful that the African court will be able to effectively prosecute the listed crimes. The relationship between the African court and the international criminal court is also explored and this note concludes by emphasising that the future of international criminal justice in Africa does not lie in the duplication of international criminal justice systems, but in the African Union and its member states' commitment to the prevention and domestic prosecution of international crimes, and in the international criminal court's improvement of its modus operandi with regard to its member states by the responsible and impartial discharging of its responsibilities under the Rome Statute.
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