AFRICAN EXIT FROM THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: RESPONDING TO THE MISPLACED CRITICISMS

Izunna Isdore Ozuo

Abstract


It is no longer news that some African States, namely South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia have notified the UN Secretary General of their withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Rome Statute1. The attention of the international community was drawn to these withdrawals. Responses from international law scholars were that of condemnation of the said acts. However, a critical engagement of the criticisms levelled so far at the withdrawing States revealed that the criticisms are insignificant and are indeed misplaced. To achieve this, a background of the prosecution undertaken so far at the ICC after 14 years of its existence was considered together with the African bias argument advanced by African leaders and practitioners. Then, an attempt was made to effectively respond to the criticisms levelled against the withdrawing States. The misplacement of these criticisms in the legal landscape as regards the operations of the international criminal law and justice system was also pointed out.

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