The prosecutor of the ICC has encouraged self-referrals, and the only such
referrals have been from African countries. While the ICC has received some
1,700 communications to investigate alleged crimes in 139 countries, 80 percent
of these communications have been found outside the jurisdiction of the court.
This is "not a question of picking on Africa," says John Washburn (PDF) of the American NGO Coalition for the ICC. "The UN Security Council referred [Darfur], and the other countries came forward voluntarily." Some international law experts say the weakness of Africa's national legal systems has led individual countries to refer situations to the ICC. Most African states have yet to implement the Rome Statutes in their domestic legislation, write Olympia Bekou and Sangeeta Shah in
Human Rights Law Review, which is the first step toward retaining domestic
jurisdiction. "Strengthening domestic prosecutions so that the ICC does not have
to intervene should be the ultimate goal of every state," they write.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Africa and the ICC
From the Council on Foreign Relations via the Washington Post, Stephanie Hanson writing on the ICC and Africa: