The International Criminal Court: Global justice or unfair treatment of Africans?
"The ICC has been reduced into a painfully farcical pantomime, a travesty that adds insult to the injury of victims. It stopped being the home of justice the day it became the toy of declining imperial powers."
President Uhuru Kenyatta at AU General Assembly, October 2013
"To safeguard the constitutional order, stability and, integrity of Member States, no charges shall be commenced or continued before any International Court or Tribunal against any serving AU Head of State or Government or anybody acting or entitled to act in such capacity during their term of office"
African Union Assembly decision on Africa´s relationship with the ICC, October 2013
Is, as several African leaders have recently claimed, the International Criminal Court (ICC) primarily a Western imperialist tool for punishing African leaders, or is it a mechanism for global justice? Should Western countries show more trust in Africa´s capability to handle its own challenges? What role should the ICC play in complex national and regional conflicts? Is the ICC the right instrument to promote international justice?
With us in this breakfast forum, we have Senior Researcher Gunnar M. Sørbø (CMI) and Professor Terje Einarsen (UiB) in conversation with Åse Gilje Østensen.
Gunnar M. Sørbø is a social anthropologist focusing much of his research on peacebuilding, local violence and conflict analysis, mainly in Sudan. He is i.a. co-editor of "Sudan Divided: Continuing Conflict in a Contested State" (Palgrave 2013) and two articles in the Nordic Journal of Human Rights on accountability issues and the role of the ICC in Darfur (2010, 2013). Sørbø is an experienced team leader for policy-oriented reviews and evaluations, often with international participation and for many different clients. Before joining CMI as director, he was the first director of the Centre for Development Studies, University of Bergen. He chairs the board of the Rafto Foundation and the Centre for Peace Studies, University of Tromsø. He is also on the board of the Research Council of Norway, Division Society and Health.
Terje Einarsen is Professor of Law at the Law Faculty at the University of Bergen and a former judge at the Gulating Court of Appeal. Einarsen´s research interests include Human Rights Law, International Criminal Law, International Refugee Law and Norwegian Asylum and Immigration Law. He is the founder of the ‘Universal Crimes Project'. Its purpose is to contribute to the development of laws and mechanisms relevant to combating grave crimes, in compliance with human rights norms and the underlying public interests of international criminal law and criminal justice. The first output of the Universal Crimes Project is Einarsen's book The Concept of Universal Crimes in International Law. See book review in the prestigious Journal of International Criminal Justice.
Croissants, juice and coffee will be served - all welcome!