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Proceedings of ICC Complementarity Workshop in Kenya

Under the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), it is first and foremost up to national courts, not the ICC, to hold perpetrators of international crimes accountable. Unfortunately, too many States, and in particular those where the gravest atrocities are committed, are either unwilling or unable to hold perpetrators accountable. As of December 2010, all five cases before the ICC – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR), Uganda, Sudan, and Kenyaoriginate from Africa, hence subjecting the Court to accusations that it is biased against Africa. “At the same time it is widely acknowledged that victimization of Africans has been widespread, and that these cases represent precisely the kinds of situations the Court was established to address: the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.” Yet, there is much misconception and little understanding about the mandate and activities of the ICC in Africa. This affects the legitimacy of the international justice system, support for it, and its effects.

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