Towards an African International Criminal Court? – assessing the extension of the jurisdiction of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights to cover international crimes
Africa seemingly cursed with instability, conflict and gross human rights violations has been the largest scene of operation of international criminal justice. This understanding led African States to be some of the key proponents in the push for an International Criminal Court. Of late however, mounting policy and operational fluxes between African States and international criminal justice has put Africa's relationship with international justice on ice. This in turn has awoken within the region's geopolitical body, the African Union, the need for an exclusively African response to international criminal justice as it is currently considering extending the jurisdiction of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights to cover international crimes. This Research Paper aims to chart the genesis of this move through the decision-making system of the African Union and within the broader context of the Union's emerging Human Rights, Peace and Security Architecture. It will simultaneously assess the viability of this proposal within the backdrop of recent global developments with a view to identifying key legal and policy ramifications. It aims to show that there may be room for the adoption of an empowered African Court as a regional complement to the international criminal justice system.
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