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Article

Civil Society Perspectives on the Criminal Chamber of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 1-2 2018
Keywords Malabo Protocol, African Court, Criminal Chamber, International and Transnational Crimes, African Union
Authors Benson Chinedu Olugbuo LLB BL LLM Ph.D.
AbstractAuthor's information

    In June 2014, African Heads of States and Governments adopted the Protocol on the Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The Malabo Protocol seeks to expand the jurisdiction of the African Court to international and transnational crimes. This development raises fundamental issues of jurisdiction, capacity, political will and regional complementarity in the fight against impunity in the African continent. The paper interrogates the role of Civil Society Organisations in the adoption and possible operationalisation of the Court in support of the efforts of the African Union to end human rights abuses and commission of international and transnational crimes within the continent.


Benson Chinedu Olugbuo LLB BL LLM Ph.D.
LLB (Nigeria); BL (Abuja); LLM (Pretoria); Ph.D. (Cape Town); Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, Abuja–Nigeria and Research Associate, Public Law Department, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Article

A Proposal for the International Law Commission to Study Universal Criminal Jurisdiction

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 1-2 2018
Keywords Universal Criminal Jurisdiction, International Criminal Law
Authors Mr. Charles Chernor Jalloh
AbstractAuthor's information

    The principle of universal jurisdiction is a unique ground of jurisdiction in international law that may permit a State to exercise national jurisdiction over certain crimes in the interest of the international community. This means that a State may exercise jurisdiction regarding a crime committed by a foreign national against another foreign national outside its territory. Such jurisdiction differs markedly from the traditional bases of jurisdiction under international law, which typically require some type of territorial, nationality or other connection between the State exercising the jurisdiction and the conduct at issue. Due to the definitional and other ambiguities surrounding the universality principle, which has in its past application strained and today continues to strain relations among States at the bilateral, regional and international levels, this paper successfully made the case for the inclusion of “Universal Criminal Jurisdiction” as a topic in the long-term programme of work of the International Law Commission during its Seventieth Session (2018). It was submitted that taking up a study of this timely topic, which has been debated by the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly since 2010, could enhance clarity for States and thereby contribute to the rule of law in international affairs. It will also server to continue the ILC’s seminal contributions to the codification and progressive development of international criminal law.


Mr. Charles Chernor Jalloh
Mr. Charles Chernor Jalloh is Professor of Law, Florida International University and Member and Chair of Drafting Committee, 70th Session, International Law Commission.
Article

Le jugement de Hissène Habré

Une justice réparatrice exemplaire?

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 1-2 2017
Keywords Restorative justice / justice réparatrice, victim / victime, reparation / réparation, Trust Fund for Victims / Fonds au profit des victimes, compensation / indemnisation
Authors Etienne Kentsa
AbstractAuthor's information

    The ruling of the African Extraordinary Chamber of Appeal in the Habré case is a resounding precedent, particularly in the area of reparations for victims of serious violations of international law. This article focuses on the process of identifying victims or beneficiaries of reparations and the reasons that led judges to favor compensation as a form of reparation. Moreover, the modalities for the implementation of reparations awarded are of paramount importance since, in the absence of effective remedies, the interest of the procedure would be considerably diminished. The implementation of reparations will certainly be the ultimate battle of the victims. Funding for the Trust Fund for Victims (FPV) is still expected. The Fund is expected to play a key role in implementing reparations for victims, the final judgment in this case is already an important precedent. Not only does it contribute to the consolidation of some advances in international criminal law in the field of restorative justice, but it also symbolizes Africa’s ability to prosecute and try the most serious international crimes committed in the region.
    L’arrêt rendu par la Chambre africaine extraordinaire d’assises d’appel dans l’affaire Habré est un précédent retentissant notamment dans le domaine des réparations au profit des victimes de violations grave du droit international. En fait, la présente contribution s’attarde sur le processus d’identification des victimes ou bénéficiaires des réparations et les raisons ayant amené les juges à privilégier l’indemnisation comme forme de réparation. Par ailleurs, les modalités de mise en œuvre des réparations ordonnées sont d’une importance capitale dans la mesure où en l’absence d’effectivité des réparations allouées, l’intérêt de la procédure serait considérablement amoindri. La mise en œuvre des réparations constituera certainement l’ultime bataille des victimes. Le financement du Fonds au profit des victimes (FPV) est toujours attendu. Pourtant le Fonds est censé jouer un rôle déterminant dans la mise en œuvre des réparations allouées aux victimes. Au demeurant, l’arrêt définitif dans cette affaire constitue déjà un précédent important. Non seulement, il contribue à l’affermissement de certaines avancées du droit international pénal en matière de justice réparatrice, mais surtout symbolise la capacité de l’Afrique à poursuivre et juger les crimes internationaux les plus graves commis dans la région.


Etienne Kentsa
E. Kentsa est actuellement candidat au Doctorat en droit de l’Université de Douala, Cameroun, et assistant à l’Université de Buéa. Ses domaines de spécialité sont le droit international pénal, le droit international des droits de l’homme, le droit international humanitaire et les finances publiques.

    The Extraordinary African Chambers (CAE) within the courts of Senegal were created by the Agreement between the Republic of Senegal and the African Union of 22 August 2012 to prosecute international crimes committed in Chad between 7 June 1982 and 1 December 1990. The Chambers are governed by a Statute. For those cases not provided for in the Statute, the Chambers shall apply Senegalese law. Both laws, one of international or conventional nature and the other one national, could be applied to a trial in compliance with international standards. However, the Statute has priority over Senegalese legislation. It is indeed the Statute that is asked to settle all questions that may arise and that has made specific selective references and for any other point that it could not have foreseen.
    So, in the functioning of the CAE, both standards were able to interact. A beneficial process that, however, also has created difficulties. After the dissolution of the Chambers on 27 April 2017, Senegalese national law, that was enacted about the universal jurisdiction of international crime since 2007, should be inspired by it and adopt appropriate standards.
    Les Chambres africaines extraordinaire (CAE) au sein des juridictions sénégalaises ont été créées par l’Accord entre la République du Sénégal et l’Union africaine du 22 août 2012 pour connaitre de crimes internationaux commis au Tchad durant une période bien déterminée. De caractère international, elles sont régies par un Statut qui prévoit dans certains cas l’application du droit national sénégalais. Les deux droits, l’un d’essence internationale ou conventionnelle et l’autre nationale, ont pu être appliqués pour un procès conforme aux standards internationaux. Toutefois, le Statut prime sur le droit sénégalais. En effet, c’est le Statut appelé à régir toutes les questions qui pourrait se poser qui a opéré des renvois sélectifs expressément et pour tout autre point qu’il n’a pu prévoir. Ainsi, dans le fonctionnement des CAE, les deux normes ont pu interagir. Un procédé bénéfique qui n’a toutefois pas manqué de poser des difficultés. Après leur dissolution, le 27 avril 2017, le droit national sénégalais qui s’est lancé depuis 2007 dans la compétence universelle sur les crimes internationaux devrait s’en inspirer et adopter des normes adaptées.


Youssoupha Diallo
Substitut Général près la Cour d’appel de Dakar, Sénégal, dialloyoussoupha78@gmail.com.

    This article explores the politics of international criminal justice and argues that the International Criminal Court is a lieu of staged performance where actors deploy their political narratives. Using the Situation in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire before the ICC and focusing on the pre-trial phase, I contend that the defendants Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé project a performance and deploy political narratives that are the extension of the politics of the Ivorian crisis, which make the Court the quintessential arena where domestic and international politics cohabit with law and rules of procedure.


Oumar Ba
Oumar Ba is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Florida.
Article

The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in Advancing International Criminal Justice

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 1 2015
Keywords Non-governmental organizations, NGOs and international criminal justice, civil society and human rights, non-state actors in international law
Authors Charles Chernor Jalloh
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in advancing international criminal justice. I argue that NGOs have had considerable impact by contributing, among other things, to the global struggle against impunity through advocacy for the creation of more robust institutional mechanisms to prosecute those who perpetrate such crimes. This ranges from supporting the processes that led to the creation of several ad hoc international tribunals for Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone, all the way through to their support for the establishment of an independent permanent international penal court based in The Hague. The crux of my claim is that a historically sensitive approach to evaluating the role of NGOs in international governance shows that these entities are not only willing, but also capable of enhancing the protection of human rights and international criminal justice especially but not exclusively in less developed regions of the world.


Charles Chernor Jalloh
Associate Professor, Florida International University, College of Law, Miami, USA. Email: jallohc@gmail.com.
Article

Access_open “Can These Dry Bones Live?”

In Search of a Lasting Therapy for AU and ICC Toxic Relationship

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 0 2014
Keywords Criminal accountability, acta sunt servanda, Conflicts, Arrest warrant, Official immunity
Authors Nsongurua J. Udombana
AbstractAuthor's information

    The competing visions of international criminal justice between the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the African Union (AU) reached a climax with the recent adoption of the AU Protocol enlarging the mandate of the African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights to cover criminal jurisdiction. The Protocol, inter alia, grants immunity to state officials for atrocious crimes, which clearly conflicts with the ICC Statute’s normative framework. This dialectic is bound to deepen an already toxic relationship between the two international players. This article calls for practical reasonableness by all stakeholders in order to revive the diminishing effort at advancing international criminal justice in Africa.


Nsongurua J. Udombana
2014: LLM, LLD; of the Nigerian Bar; Professor of International Law, Babcock University, Nigeria; udombana@hotmail.com.
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