The African Union

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African Union v International Criminal Court: episode MLXIII (?)

It never gets boring. At the latest African Union (AU) summit, which wrapped up recently in Addis Ababa, the AU-ICC controversy went into its next round; this time, however, with a rather constructive proposal for easing the tensions that had built up over the past decade or so as a result of the uneven application of international criminal justice. In this post I will reflect upon the implications of the recent summit decision for the future of international criminal justice, including the debate about immunities, the consequences of potential arrest warrants for high-ranking Burundian officials, as well as the debate about an African mass withdrawal.  Previous AU responses to what was being perceived as neo-colonial interference on the part of the International Criminal Court had not been very constructive - ranging from issuing shrill statements calling the Court “a political instrument targeting Africa and Africans“, threatening mass withdrawal, blocking the opening of the ICC Liaison Office in Addis, and announcing non-cooperation in the arrest of suspects. This time, by contrast, the AU…

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Resignation of Mugabe: A Military Coup or a Legitimate Expression of the People’s Will?

On 15 November 2017, following a rule of 37 years since the independence of Zimbabwe, President Mugabe was placed under house arrest by the army. A military spokesman appeared on state television to declare that the president was safe and that they were only “targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and…

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Post-Election Crisis in The Gambia, the Security Council and the Threat of the Use of Force

The Gambian post-election crisis is a gem amongst cases relevant to the law on ius ad bellum – not only because it is a crisis that has been resolved with almost no bloodshed, but also because it offers valuable insights into the interaction between Security Council authorization, the doctrine of intervention by invitation, and the prohibition on the…

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The AU’s Extraordinary Summit decisions on Africa-ICC Relationship

Dr Solomon Ayele Dersso is a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, Addis Ababa and Adjunct Professor of Human Rights, College of Governance, Addis Ababa University. Introduction The African Union (AU) Assembly, the highest decision making body of the continental organization, took a decision on Africa’s relationship with…

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The African Union, the ICC and Universal Jurisdiction: Some Recent Developments

Over the last few years, the African Union (AU) Assembly, (composed of Heads of States and Governments), has concerned itself with a number of issues relating to international criminal law (see previous posts by me here, here, and here; and by Max Du Plessis and Chris Gevers here and here). Last month, the…

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