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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Complementarity and Africa: the promises and problems of international criminal justice
Author:Du Plessis, MaxISNI
Periodical:African Security Review
Geographic term:Africa
Subject:International Criminal Court
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10246029.2008.9627503
Abstract:The International Criminal Court (ICC) became a reality in 1998 with the adoption of the Rome Statute of the ICC, which entered into force in 2002. Africa has demonstrated a clear commitment to the ideals and objectives of the ICC: more than half of all African States have ratified the Rome Statute. However, the court's jurisdiction is limited temporally and geographically; it can only consider the most serious crimes of international concern; and, so far, it cannot consider complaints about the crime of aggression. Complementarity is perhaps the key feature of the ICC regime. The main responsibility for dealing with alleged offenders still rests with domestic justice systems. Governed by the principle of complementarity, this means that the ICC can only act in support of domestic criminal justice systems. National courts should be the first to act, and only when they are unwilling or unable to do so, can the ICC take up the matter. This implies a certain level of technical competency among domestic criminal justice officials, but a lack of technical competency is only part of the problem. A related (and often prior) issue is political support for the idea of international criminal justice and for the ICC's complementarity scheme. In that regard it is vital that more African States ratify the Rome Statute. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. (p. VIII-IX). [ASC Leiden abstract]