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Selective Enforcement and International Criminal Law

The International Criminal Court and Africa

Book | 1st edition 2017 | World | James Nyawo

The dynamics of enforcing international criminal justice through the International Criminal Court (ICC) has become a challenging exercise in Africa. At times the uneasy relationship between the ICC, the African Union and a few influential African states has given rise to concerns about the future of international criminal justice in general, and in Africa in particular. Still, the enthusiasts for international criminal justice as enforced by the ICC, interpret the challenges that the ICC is encountering in Africa as part of the growing pains of a new institution in the international system. The distractors have already prepared the ICC’s obituary. One of the criticisms levelled against the ICC, and which is the motivation for, and central theme behind, this book is that it has morphed and ceased to be an independent legal institution instead becoming a political tool utilised by politically powerful states in the West against their political opponents in Africa. More specifically the Court is alleged to be selectively enforcing international criminal law by merely officially opening investigations and prosecutions in Africa.

Although this book recognises that selective implementation of criminal justice is acceptable both at the domestic and international level, it analyses the legal and political factors behind the Court’s focus on international crimes committed in Africa when there are other situations to which the court should potentially turn its attention, such as in Syria, Afghanistan or the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The book seeks to determine whether such a focus implies that Africa has the monopoly over international crimes or whether African victims or perpetrators are any different from those in the Middle East?

In addition the book attempts to uncover the basis and the validity of the African Union and some African states’ criticisms of the ICC.

James Nyawo holds a Doctorate from the School of Law at Middlesex University, UK. He previously held the position of Visiting Lecturer with the Department of International & Cooperative Law at Khartoum University, Sudan and is currently an External Research Fellow at the International Victimology Institute (INTERVICT), Tilburg, Netherlands. He has worked as a humanitarian practitioner and consultant with national, international and UN agencies working with landmine victims, internally displaced persons and refugees in Angola, Uganda (North), South Sudan and Sudan.

Technical info
More Information
Type of product Book
Format Paperback
EAN / ISSN 9781780683874 / 9781780685014
Series name Supranational Criminal Law: Capita Selecta
Weight 485 g
Status Available
Number of pages xvi + 288 p.
Access to exercice No
Publisher Intersentia
Language English
Publication Date Feb 27, 2017
Available on Jurisquare No
Available on Strada Belgique No
Available on Strada Europe No
Available on Strada Luxembourg No


  • Table of Contents
  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • Chapter 2. The Establishment of the International Criminal Court, and Africa’s Role and Early Support
  • Chapter 3. The Office of the Prosecutor and the Politics of Selecting Targets for Prosecution
  • Chapter 4. State Party Referrals, UN Security Council Referrals and the Selection of Situations
  • Chapter 5. Assessing Selective Enforcement from an Admissibility Perspective
  • Chapter 6. The AU and African States’ Shift from Cooperation to Non-Cooperation with the Court
  • Chapter 7. African States’ Reaction to the AU’s Call for Non-Cooperation with the Court
  • Chapter 8. Africa and the International Criminal Court: The Lessons and Prospects
  • Bibliography
  • Index