Some people argue that the importance of the ICC is to build lasting peace and democracy through accountability and to pass a legacy of holding those who commit atrocious crimes responsible to the next generations. Others argue that if the ICC had been there, it would have been impossible to end Apartheid in South Africa. Transition in Spain, Portugal, Latin America and Eastern Europe would have been an illusion.
The purpose of this piece is not to pile up the praise and criticisms. Above all, it is not to join the endless debate on justice vs. peace, but to identify what we can learn from the activities of the international criminal tribunals in Africa.
In doing so, I will focus on six major areas of the tribunals: official immunity as a shield to commit atrocious crimes; rebel leaders as subjects of international law; meddling with the affairs of others; sovereignty and non-interference during a commission of atrocious crimes; pre, during and/or post election violence and child soldiers. Read the full paper