Withdrawal of African Countries from International Criminal Court: Is African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples Rights an Alternative to Fight Impunity in Africa?

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Human rights are accepted as universal despite cultural manifestations. However respect for human dignity cannot be taken for granted. Starting from early civilization, human kind has suffered with atrocities and massive human right violations. The African Continent is one of the places that experiences individually orchestrated massive human rights violations. Different ad-hoc and national tribunals prosecuted individual-based gross human rights violations. After various studies conducted and intense negotiation made the Rome Statute was adopted in 1998 establishing the first permanent international criminal court. Since its establishment ICC has investigated number of cases including situations located in Africa. The AU doesn‟t seem interested on the opening of investigations in different parts of Africa thus, requested the UNSC to defer different ICC investigations in Africa. The UNSC failures to respond to the request of the AU lead, to pursue the establishment of an African Regional Criminal Court and adoption of a collective withdrawal strategy from the Rome Statute by the AU Assembly. The AU Assembly adopted Malabo Protocol on June 27, 2014, that will empower an African Court with criminal jurisdiction. The swift shift from supporting the ICC to establishing regional criminal court is a political reaction rather than genuine legal effort of prosecuting perpetrators of massive human right violations. Regional criminal tribunal is a new approach to international criminal justice system and may positively contribute for development of international criminal justice system. However, the current AU move towards establishing an effective African Criminal Court has various operational, normative and practical limitations. Thus this paper, with the theme tune of empowering the African Court with criminal Jurisdiction, examines whether the proposed ACJHPR Criminal Chamber when and if it enters into force serves as an alternative to the ICC in the prosecution and condemnation of grave crimes of international concern in the region based on its legal and institutional framework. Meanwhile, the paper examines the critics forwarded by some African countries against ICC and the AU withdrawal strategy from the Rome Statute.



cultural manifestation,human dignity,civilization,human right violations