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Who Blinks First?: The International Criminal Court, the African Union and the Problematic of International Criminal Justice

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Chapter Summary

The African Union (AU) has declared a 'war' on the International Criminal Court (ICC), the permanent institution established to prosecute and punish persons for "the most serious crimes of international concern". This chapter interrogates the politics of international criminal justice as it is being played out by the face-off between the AU and ICC. It analyzes the following questions: Is the ICC an obstacle to a peaceful resolution of conflicts in some African states? Is justice adverse to peace or can both coexist within the same normative and institutional framework? The chapter also examines the source of the AU's authority, if any, to instruct African states regarding their obligations under the ICC Statute. It concludes with a reflection on the broader theme and urges the AU to work with the global community, including the ICC and UN Security Council, to resolve the current differences.

Keywords: African Union; African Union (AU); International Criminal Court; International Criminal Court (ICC); International Criminal Justice; UN Security Council



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