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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

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.
Article

Access_open Joint Criminal Enterprise before the Chambres Africaines Extraordinaires

Hissène Habré’s Direct and Indirect Criminal Liability

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 1-2 2017
Keywords International criminal law, joint criminal enterprise, complicity, Chambres Africaines Extraordinaires / Extraordinary African Chambers, hybrid tribunals
Authors Kerstin Bree Carlson
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Chambres Africaines Extraordinaires (CAE), ad hoc chambers operating under the auspices of the Dakar municipal courts, were constructed to try Hissène Habré. In targeting Habré, the CAE was designed to appease Chadian calls for justice (from Habré’s victims, on one hand, and the Déby regime, on the other), resolve Senegal’s impasse over the legality of Habré’s culpability and allow the African Union to meet its leadership obligations. To this tall order, the CAE was required to exercise legitimate judicial authority in the contested sphere of international criminal law (ICL), where content is pluralist and political.
    This article examines the CAE’s finding of Habré’s culpability for war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture. The article shows that the CAE applied a novel construction of liability under ICL and argues that it did so in order to strengthen its authority and legitimacy. By so doing, the CAE has made a significant addition to the field of ICL. This article explores the CAE’s application of joint criminal enterprise (JCE) to consider how the internationally formulated doctrinal standard is reshaped by CAE practice.


Kerstin Bree Carlson
University of Southern Denmark and The American University of Paris.

    Focus on whether a criminal chamber in a reformed African Court represents progress or retrogression relative to advances made in the Rome Statute shifts attention from the similar foundation of the two courts on an epochal bifurcation between the worst human rights abuses and quotidian wrongs. This bifurcation compromises our understanding of how abuses are related, what we should do about them and how we should go about studying them. It is at the core of aspects of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that have come under severe criticism. It also imperils the criminal chamber of the nascent African Court.


Ato Kwamena Onoma
Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa.
Article

The Prosecution of Corporations before a Hybrid International Criminal Tribunal

The New TV and Akhbar Beirut Contempt Jurisdiction Decisions of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 1-2 2016
Keywords Special Tribunal for Lebanon, international criminal law, personal jurisdiction, corporate criminal liability, interpretation of Rules of Procedure and Evidence
Authors Manuel J. Ventura
AbstractAuthor's information

    This case note considers two decisions from two separate Appeals Panels of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (“STL”) which held that the STL possessed the inherent power, pursuant to its inherent jurisdiction in matters relating to contempt, to exert its ratione personae jurisdiction over legal persons – two Lebanese corporations – accused of contemptuous conduct. These decisions opened the door for the first trials of corporate defendants in the history of international criminal law. The analyses of the Appeals Panels are pertinent to unresolved debates before United States (“US”) courts on whether the US Alien Tort Statute recognizes corporate liability for violations of the law of nations; raise the issue of the proper place of the principle of legality when jurisdictional questions arise as well as the proper interpretation of the STL’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence; and also have implications for other international criminal tribunals with provisions regulating contempt of court that are similarly worded to those in place at the STL.


Manuel J. Ventura
LL.M. (Hons) (Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights). Associate Legal Officer, Chambers, Special Tribunal for Lebanon; Director, The Peace and Justice Initiative <www.peaceandjusticeinitiative.org>; Adjunct Fellow, School of Law, Western Sydney University. Email: manuel.j.ventura@gmail.com.
Article

The Fight against Corruption in Sierra Leone

Challenges and Opportunities in the Jurisprudence

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 1-2 2016
Keywords Accountability, corruption, judicial approach, jurisprudence, reforms
Authors Michael Imran Kanu
AbstractAuthor's information

    The fight against corruption in Sierra Leone gained momentum, at least in terms of policy direction, following the enactment of the Anti-Corruption Act 2000 and the Amendment Act in 2008. It is considered to be one of the most robust anti-graft laws in the world and its promulgation is in recognition of the international and national resolve to fight the menace, owing to its devastating effects, especially in the Least Developed Countries (LCDs) of the world. The Anti-Corruption Act of 2000, though viewed as a tremendous move towards curtailing corruption, was riddled with shortcomings. Practitioners viewed the Act as limited in the number of proscribed offences created, coupled with the lack of independence signified by the absence of prosecutorial powers. With the enactment of the Amendment Act in 2008, it is crucial to examine the opportunities it has created to eradicate corruption. Critical also to the national and global resolve is the consideration of challenges that may have sprouted. This paper will examine some of the opportunities and challenges in the jurisprudence in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone, with the aim of providing an avenue for reflection as well as a prompter for legislative reforms or change in judicial approach.


Michael Imran Kanu
Department of Legal Studies, Central European University. Email: Kanu_Michael@phd.ceu.edu.
Article

Accountability for Forced Displacement in Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda before the International Criminal Court

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 2 2015
Keywords Forced displacement, International Criminal Court, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, reparations
Authors Luke Moffett
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the challenges of investigating and prosecuting forced displacement in the Central African countries of Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, where higher loss of life was caused by forced displacement, than by any other. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, armed groups intentionally attacked civilian populations displacing them from their homes, to cut them off from food and medical supplies. In Northern Uganda, the government engaged in a forced displacement policy as part of its counter-insurgency against the Lord’s Resistance Army, driving the civilian population into “protected villages”, where at one point the weekly death toll was over 1,000 in these camps. This article critically evaluates how criminal responsibility can be established for forced displacement and alternative approaches to accountability through reparations.


Luke Moffett
Lecturer and Director of the Human Rights Centre, Queen’s University Belfast, l.moffett@qub.ac.uk.

    Over the last decade, Nigeria has witnessed several high-intensity conflicts. It became a country under preliminary investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) following allegations of serious crimes. In 2013, the boko haram insurgency was classified as a “non-international armed conflict.” Commentators appear divided over the capacity and willingness of domestic institutions to manage crimes arising from or connected with conflicts in Nigeria. Those who argue for unwillingness often point to the struggle to domesticate the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute) as one of the clearest indication that there is not sufficient interest. This article interrogates the question of seeming impunity for serious crimes in Nigeria and makes a case for domesticating the Rome Statute through an amendment to the Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes, Genocide and Related Offences Bill, 2012 pending before the National Assembly.


Stanley Ibe
LL.B. (Lagos State University, Nigeria); LL.M. (Maastricht University, The Netherlands); Postgraduate Diploma in International Protection of Human Rights (Abo Akademi, Finland). Ibe is an associate legal officer for Africa at the Open Society Justice Initiative. He writes in a private capacity.

    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.
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