Is international law fair in Africa?

How is international law applied across Africa?

Members event, Panel
23 May 2022 — 12:00PM TO 1:15PM

The post-war development of international law under the United Nations and intergovernmental legal institutions has sought to hold to account perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. These efforts have resulted in several high-profile convictions in egregious cases.

However, against the ideological backdrop of independence and liberationism, African states have had a fraught relationship with institutions that are seen as holding a bias against the continent and undermining national sovereignty. International criminal justice is at risk of becoming a declining force, sapped by long delays in prosecutions, lagging public attention and a globally-rising authoritarianism. But international law remains critical to promoting human rights and protecting citizens across Africa.

This event will examine how international criminal justice is applied across Africa through the pivotal cases of Rwanda, Chad, South Sudan and Tanzania:

  • Are international institutions such as the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda the most effective mechanisms to hold to account the perpetrators of human rights violations?

  • What is the role of international legal institutions to assist mediation in conflict-affected states and how do they support peace in post-war countries?

  • How can international courts improve investigations and increase conviction rates to target perpetrators of abuse and improve human rights for citizens?

This event is part of Chatham House’s ongoing work on Democracy that delivers.

As with all Chatham House member events, questions from members drive the conversation.

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