Reflections on the relationship between international justice and peace in Africa

Jeanpierre, Eric (2010) Reflections on the relationship between international justice and peace in Africa. In: ATINER 7th Annual International Conference on Law; 19 -22 Jul 2010, Athens, Greece. (Unpublished)


Ever since the international justice project was revived at the end of the cold war, it has made its ever-increasing presence felt on the African continent. After having set up an International Criminal Tribunal in Rwanda and a mixed Court in Sierra Leone, the International Criminal Court has acquired the monopoly of retributive international justice in Africa. Some academics have started asking the question where the ICC would be today without Africa, as the entirety of the entirety of the Court’s activities has centred around the African continent. This Afro-centrism, or regionalisation of international justice, is also one of its problems: to a growing number of academics, international justice is biased and intentionally targets weak African states. There are clear signs that the current model of international justice has encountered developmental problems and has raised irritation and opposition among African states. Whereas the idea of having a universal concept of justice is not criticised, the manner in which this has taken place has caused debate. Going beyond the classical retributive justice v. peace debate this paper will attempt to focus on two issues which, it is submitted will play an essential role for a future thriving International Criminal Court (ICC): is international genuinely biased in the way it deals with Africa and how important are socio-cultural aspects to a proper application of international justice?

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