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“Rounding Up the Usual Suspects”: Exclusion, Selectivity, and Impunity in the Enforcement of International Criminal Justice and the African Union’s Emerging Resistance

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image of African Journal of Legal Studies

Despite the overwhelming ratification of the statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) by African states, recent attempts to prosecute the perpetrators of egregious crimes in the region have come under a sustained opposition from its regional body, the African Union (AU). In fact, the blunt accusation is that international criminal justice has become an instrument of colonization. Within the context of the AU’s claim, this article engages the question of selective enforcement of international criminal accountability, ironically beginning with the Nuremberg trial. Without necessarily justifying the senseless perpetration of heinous crimes in Africa, this article argues that an international justice regime complex that is perceived to be skewed in favour of the West engenders a crisis of legitimacy and ultimately robs it of the much needed cooperation from the region.

Affiliations: 1: Dalhousie University Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada


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