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The Security Council, the African Union and the International Criminal Court: Anatomy of a Problematic Relationship

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Chapter Summary

The creation of an autonomous permanent international criminal court (ICC), based on the principle of universal participation was widely regarded as one of the most significant achievements of the last decade. The Court had come into existence with a generous popular mandate from a large section of the international community, having received the requisite number of ratifications in a very short space of time. The attempt by the United States to subject prosecutorial decisions to political control by the Security Council was decisively rejected by the preparatory conference. The attempt by the African Union (AU) to politicise the ICC processes through repeated requests for referral and deferral; by calling on its members not to co-operate in those situations where their requests have not been heeded and by threatening to ask its members to withdraw en masse undermines the Court's independence as a neutral forum for the administration of justice.

Keywords: administration of justice; African Union (AU); autonomous permanent international criminal court (ICC); request for deferral; request for referral; United Nations Security Council; United States



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