At the thirtieth summit of the African Union (AU) last month, African states took a bold decision. They agreed to ask the United Nations General Assembly to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the issue of head of state immunity. For years now, this has been an ongoing point of contention for many states in their relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC). So what’s behind the AU’s decision and what does it tell us about the ICC and its relationship with African states?
Between early 2013 and June 2016, in the village of Kavumu, a few dozen kilometers from Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province, as many as 40 young girls whose ages ranged from 18 months to 10 years old were abducted and raped before being returned to their families. On December 13, 2017 11 Congolese militia members and a provincial lawmaker Frederic Batumike were found guilty of murder and rape as crimes against humanity. This is the story of how the women of Kavumu finally got justice.
Judge Koffi Kumelio A. Afande, who has served on both the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has given a damning appraisal of the outcome of the Kenyan cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the victims, particularly on reparations. It is rare to hear a judge of Afande’s stature speak so frankly of the shortcomings the international criminal justice system.
To start the year off right, Justice Hub is today publishing the first of a series of exclusive interviews with esteemed African judges. The interviews, which will run for the next few weeks, are part of our popular #MyJustice series that aims to shine a spotlight on sung and unsung heroes working to make the world a more peaceful, just and inclusive place.
Justice Dr James Alala Deng, a member of the South Sudan Supreme Court, tells us why, despite all the obvious challenges and setbacks, he believes that justice is still possible in Africa’s youngest democracy.
Pilirani Khoza, a Malawian delegate at the African Union - European Union Summit in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire , told Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Halbe Zijlstra her views on what young people in Africa need.
Uganda is one of the few countries that have set up local mechanisms for trying grave crimes like genocide and war crimes. Ugandan Judge Flavia Senoga Anglin recently spoke to a rapt Hague Talks audience about the tragic events that led her country to establish the International Crimes Division of Uganda.
When there is an atrocity committed in a far-flung part of the world and experts are needed to investigate it, Justice Rapid Response (JRR) has the capacity to quickly assemble a team to collect and preserve evidence for use in future legal action against the perpetrator(s). In an interview with Justice Hub, JRR’s Executive Director Andras Vamos-Goldman told us “The 21st century works very differently. It requires a much faster reaction time because everything is faster in the 21st century so we are there to try to make the work of institutions including the work the ICC, the UN, and regional bodies faster. Not just faster but also more cost-effective.”
Sometimes justice comes down to making people feel they have been heard: Best of #MyJustice series 2017
Like describing an elephant, “justice” is a hard word to define to everyone’s’ satisfaction. You just know it when you see it. In 2017, just as we’ve done in previous years, Justice Hub has chased and published stories of people working in different fields to make the world a more just and peaceful place. With the year coming to an end, we’ve prepared a list of the most interesting, moving and thought-provoking #MyJustice stories from 2017.
Jane Waithera is an advocate for the rights of people with albinism. At a recent Hague Talks themed on “How do we break social taboos” Waithera told a packed audience how, right from her birth, the society she was born into made her feel like she didn’t belong.