20 June 2016

Africa's Different Judicial Models in the Spotlight

Photo: B Dabo/allAfrica
Kofi Annan, ancien SG de l'ONU, tous les deux membres de la Commission Ouest-Africaine sur les Drogues

Africa's strained relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC) is back in the spotlight after former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan waded into the debate by saying that Africans should seek justice abroad if they cannot get justice in their domestic courts.

At the same time, notes Legalbrief, the jury is still out on the hybrid model that Senegal rolled out to much acclaim with the trial of Chad's former dictator, Hissène Habré.

Annan's backing of the ICC comes amid growing threats from African leaders to quit the court and follows the collapse of its case against top Kenyan politicians. In April, the ICC dropped charges against Kenya's Vice-President William Ruto, who was accused of helping to orchestrate deadly violence following the 2007 elections. The suspension of the case after several witnesses reversed their testimony, or disappeared altogether, came 16 months after the ICC dropped similar charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta.

A report on the BDlive site notes that Annan rejected accusations that the ICC was an anti-African institution.

'I remind the Africans that it's wrong for them to say that only African leaders are put into the dock.' According to the report, he added that Slobodan Milosevic and others convicted of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia had been tried in The Hague before the ICC was established.

African leaders 'shouldn't pretend that they were the first', or that the process was biased, Annan, a Ghanaian, is quoted as saying.

Full report on the BDlive site

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