Dear JiC readers,
I am thrilled to announce the publication of a policy paper entitled “Building Bridges and Reaching Compromise — Constructive Engagement in the Africa-ICC Relationship” that I have authored with contributions from colleagues at the Wayamo Foundation, where I work as Deputy Director.
The paper is the result of long-term research and was inspired by dialogues on the Africa-ICC relationship initiated by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and held in Pretoria in March 2017. The comprehensive and in-depth report offers policy-relevant analysis across numerous issue areas, with a particular focus on: the perception and misperceptions of the ICC, the Court’s relationship with the Security Council, the so-called “peace versus justice” debate, and reforms of the ICC from within. These core areas are assessed with regards to their impact and influence on the relationship between the ICC and African states and constituencies.
The relationship between Africa and the International Criminal Court (ICC) has received a tremendous amount of attention in recent years. Not only have dozens of articles and reports been written on the subject, but numerous conferences, symposia and diplomatic meetings have sought to assess the crux of the relationship and the concerns that African states and communities have regarding the Court. Despite allof this time, effort, and energy, it cannot be said todaythat the problems at the heart of this relationship have been resolved.
Over many years, the Wayamo Foundation has engaged with scholars, researchers, diplomats, practitioners, human rights advocates and politicalfigures on the subject of the Africa-ICC relationship. Indeed, understanding and improving the relationshipis a core feature of Wayamo’s mandate. This report thus represents much of the knowledge regarding the relationship that the Wayamo Foundation has built up and gleaned over the last year.
This policy report was further inspired in part by discussions held during the South African-German International Justice Dialogue. The event was initiated by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and organised by the Wayamo Foundation. It was held under Chatham House Rules, from 27-28 March 2017 in Pretoria.
In the following pages, the report focuses on four keytopics that have proven central to the relationshipbetween the Court and the African continent:
1. Perceptions regarding the ICC;
2. The relationship between the Court, the Security Council and Head of State Immunity;
3. The Peace-Justice debate; and
4. Reforms of the ICC.
The report offers analysis as well as recommendationson each of these critical subjects.
Above all else, this report urges continued engagementon the Africa-ICC relationship by all relevant actors, including ICC member states, the Court itself, civil society organisations, scholars and researchers, as well as victims and their representatives. Only through positive engagement can the legitimate concerns of African states and African communities be heard. Only through dialogue and negotiation can abetter and more effective ICC be realized.
The full paper can be accessed here.