African Perspectives on International Criminal Justice


Eds. Ankumah & Kwakwa, AFLA Publication, (2005) – With a Preface by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo

This book is devoted to international criminal law and, more specifically, to the initiatives taken in recent years to hold alleged perpetrators of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity criminally accountable. The book complements Africa Legal Aid’s previous work in this field, which has resulted in the Cairo-Arusha Principles on Universal Jurisdiction in Respect of Gross Human Rights Offences: An African Perspective.

The publication describes and critically analyzes the work of international bodies, such as the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the International Criminal Court, the semi international Special Court forSierra Leone, and national courts exercising Universal Jurisdiction, such as the Rwandan gacaca system. The work of these institutions is viewed and evaluated from an African perspective. Do they have sufficient regard for African norms and values? Why have certain offences, such as the crime of apartheid, which has particular resonance inAfrica, not attracted prosecution under Universal Jurisdiction? Should the exercise of Universal Jurisdiction by courts in Northern countries over crimes committed in the South be viewed as a welcome contribution to justice or, as some claim, a form of judicial imperialism?

A single, univocal answer to these questions does not exist, but the articles contained in this book demonstrate that all those supporting justice for and in Africa, should never stop asking whether norms and solutions concerning human rights and justice suits the specific needs of Africa and its people.