The African Union and Universal Jurisdiction

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Abstract

Universal jurisdiction permits states to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of certain widely condemned offences, irrespective of whether they possess any of the traditional territorial, nationality, or other jurisdictional links to the offence. As a legal principle, African states accept the principle of universal jurisdiction, but in the past decade they have pushed back against it due to the perception that the courts of various European states have unfairly targeted African government officials that they perceive as enemies. Against this background, the chapter examines the status of the universal jurisdiction debate and how it relates to the role of the International Criminal Court and that of the African Union and its member states, in addition to evaluating the proposals made by African states within the framework of the United Nations to address the African government concerns about double standards in the application of universal jurisdiction through a special ad hoc committee of the General Assembly.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe International Criminal Court and Africa
EditorsCharles Chernor Jalloh, Ilias Bantekas
Number of pages28
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date2017
Pages10-37
Chapter1
ISBN (Print)9780198810568
ISBN (Electronic)9780198810568
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • African union
  • European states
  • International criminal court (ICC)
  • United nations
  • Universal jurisdiction

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