Donnerstag, 17. Mai 2018

Africa and the International Criminal Court — Building Bridges and Reaching Compromise

Lecture by Mark Kersten, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

According to many observers African states and the International Criminal Court (ICC) are at loggerheads. Government leaders have derided the ICC as racist and neo-colonial in its pursuit of justice. A number of states have stated their intention to withdraw from the Court and one, Burundi, withdrew from the ICC in October 2017. At the same time, African communities affected by conflict have raised concerns about the impacts of the ICC and the apparent gap between the institution’s promise and what it can deliver. In such trying times many urgent questions arise: What is the future of the ICC-Africa relationship? What drives the antagonism of certain African states and communities towards the Court? What can be done to build bridges and reach compromises that enhance the ICC’s relationship with Africa whilst simultaneously strengthening the project of international justice?

Based on a newly released research and policy paper, this lecture will delve into these questions, elaborating the core motivations of African critiques of the Court, offering an detailed view into the current issues at the heart of the Africa-ICC relationship, as well as outlining concrete measures that can be taken to improve it. African states helped build the ICC; their engagement with the institution will determine what kind of Court — and indeed what kind of system of global justice — the world and its people can expect. 

The event is organised and moderated by Sassan Gholiagha.

Please note: This event will be held in English with no translation into German.


Mark Kersten is a Fellow, researcher, and consultant based at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, as well as the Deputy Director of the Wayamo Foundation. Mark’s research and work focuses on the investigation and prosecution of international crimes; mass atrocity responses and prevention and the effects of judicial interventions by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on conflict, peace, and justice processes.

Sassan Gholiagha is a postdoctoral Research Fellow of the WZB & Free University Junior Research Group Governance for Global Health.