The issues of legitimacy of the international criminal court in its relations with african countries in the sphere of counteracting international crimes

The authors study the legitimacy of the establishment and work of the International Criminal Court (ICC) from the perspective of African countries. They point out that African countries initially supported the idea of creating the ICC and actively participated in its establishment and development. However, after the Court initiated investigations regarding the current President of Sudan Omar Al-Bashir and other African leaders (current President of Kenia Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, its Vice-President William Samoei Ruto, former Head of the Great Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Muammar Gaddafi, the ex-President of Cote d’Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo, and others), the ICC began to lose its legitimacy in the eyes of most African leaders, who started to perceive it as a political instrument of Western countries. As a result, the African Union in its Resolutions (13 (XIII), 987 (XXIX), 952 (XXVIII) and others) called on African countries to stop cooperating with the ICC concerning warrants for the arrest of current officials and, finally, to totally withdraw from the Rome Statute of the ICC of 1998 because it believed that the Court is selective in its persecution of Africans only. Following this, three African countries (Bu-rundi, the South African Republic and Gambia) announced in 2016 that they intend to withdraw from the Rome Statute. However, the South African Republic and Gambia did not do this due to internal political situation and pressure from the Western countries, and only Burundi withdrew from the 1998 Rome Statute on October 27, 2017. Besides, the African Union initiated the establishment of the International Criminal Chamber within its regional court — the African Court of Justice and Human Rights (Malabo Protocol of 2014); the authors believe it to be the reaction of the African countries to the activities of the ICC. Based on their research, the authors suggest reforming the International Criminal Court to ensure its independence and impartiality in fighting international crimes and impunity, as well as developing regional criminal justice in Africa. © 2019, Baikal National University of Economics and Law. All rights reserved.

Baikal National University of Economics and Law
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  • 1 People’s Friendship University of Russia (RUDN), Moscow, Russian Federation
Ключевые слова
African countries; African Union; International crimes; International Criminal Court; Legitimacy; Rome Statute; The African Court of Justice and Human Rights; Withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the ICC
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