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Unable or Unwilling? Case Studies on Domestic Implementation of the ICC Statute in Selected African Countries

du Plessis, Max
June 4, 2015

Source: (2008) Monograph 141, Institute for Security Studies.

This monograph is intended to contribute to enhanced understanding of the reasons why some African states have been slow in meeting their domestication obligations under the Rome Statute. In the international arena, African countries were generally very supportive of the creation of the ICC, and promptly ratified the Rome Statute. More than half of all African states have ratified. This study
reveals, however, that none of the five countries selected for study (Botswana,
Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) has implemented measures: all five are at this time unable to respond fully and on a clear, prescribed lawful basis to an ICC investigation or request for arrest and surrender, nor able to themselves prosecute the most serious international crimes. The country studies are in-depth analyses of the status of implementation… While real capacity constraints do hamper the justice systems of these countries, the primary barrier to implementation in the countries studied appears to be that co-operation on impunity for international crimes is not seen as having sufficient importance, relevance and priority. However, a failure by all five countries sampled to put in place national level measures to implement Rome Statute obligations means that in the near future a ratified African state (perhaps bordering a conflict area) may be incapable of dealing satisfactorily with the foreseeable possibility of an internationally-wanted person being in its jurisdiction… The study draws on the comparative overview to make six recommendations, mainly identifying and encouraging those institutions and organisations best placed to raise awareness of the need for national level implementation. (excerpt)


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