The Quest to Prosecute and Punish International Crimes by the African Court of Justice and Human Right: Myth or Reality?
Akpoghome Theresa U (PhD), Nwano Theophilus C (PhD)

This paper examines the proposed African Court of Justice and Human Right which is expected to be the main judicial organ of the AU. It looks at the reasons for the establishment of the court which includes but not limited to the failures of the national, hybrid and the ad hoc courts in the region to meet the demands of justice in prosecuting cases of international crimes. The merged court has an expanded jurisdiction covering crimes within ICC‟s jurisdiction and other crimes peculiar to Africa. This move is seen as ambitious and contentious as it is not favorable to the role of the ICC. The paper further examines the procedures of the proposed court as contained in the courts Statute and observes that there exists some gaps which must be filled if the court will achieve its goals. The paper also observes that the statute of the court makes provision for corporate criminal liability of corporation which is a good innovation as this is one crime that national legislations have not been able to address. The paper also provides a brief overview of national, hybrid and ad hoc international criminal trials in Africa and argues that the Malabo instrument is an important and alternative means of attaining justice in the region to improve on the errors of the earlier courts. It further examines the advantages of the proposed court and possible drawback that the court may face when it is established. Based on the findings, the paper concludes that the proposed court will bring justice nearer home to the victims, but will fail if the AU lacks the muscle to address the challenges noted. Finally, the paper recommends, that the subjecting the practice of universal jurisdiction to the provisions of national immunity and consent of the accused will make prosecution of crimes in Africa ineffective.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jlcj.v8n2a7