Briefing Paper

The African Union and the International Criminal Court: An Embattled Relationship?

“The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established as a permanent, independent institution to prosecute individuals who have orchestrated and executed the most serious crimes of international concern, including war crimes,crimes against humanity and genocide. The Rome Statute, which entered
into force on 1 July 2002, is explicit on the role of the Court in exercising a criminal jurisdiction over perpetrators of these crimes. African countries were actively involved in the creation of the ICC and played a crucial role at the Rome conference when the Court’s statute was drafted and adopted. To date, Africa represents the largest regional grouping of countries within the ICC’s Assembly of State Parties. This article discusses the trajectory of Africa’s relationship with the ICC and offer insights into how this embattled relationship might be repaired. Without bridging these differences the
ability of the Court to work actively to address impunity, which is also the stated aim of the AU, will be undermined across the African continent.”