The African Court with a Criminal Jurisdiction and the ICC: A Case for Overlapping Jurisdiction?


July 31, 2017

Article by Zekarias Beshah Abebe, African Leadership Center Peace and Security Fellow (2016–17).

Republished from Edinburgh University Press.

Abstract
One of the issues that the current proliferation of international courts and jurisdictions raised in the international legal order is overlapping jurisdiction. On 27 June 2014, the Assembly of the African Union adopted a protocol on the Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights which extends the jurisdiction of the court to cover international crimes. The decision of the AU to clothe the African court with a criminal jurisdiction has brought, once again, the issue of overlapping jurisdiction to the surface. This article is an attempt to answer the questions: to what extent does the criminal jurisdiction of the African court overlap with the jurisdiction of the ICC, and is the issue of overlapping jurisdiction a common occurrence or an imminent concern? Taking the crimes under the jurisdiction of the courts and the fact that large numbers of African states are state parties to the ICC into consideration, many tend to argue that overlapping jurisdiction is inevitable and is likely to cause friction for the primacy of jurisdiction. However, this article argues that a close scrutiny of the substantive and territorial jurisdiction of the ICC and the African Court suggests that the issue of overlapping jurisdiction is both rare and of remote concern.

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The Impact of Regional and Sub-regional Norms and Standards on Democratic Governance in Promoting Constitutionalism in Africa

Courtesy of Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA)

By Nokukhanya Nox Ntuli

July 10, 2017

Republished from Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA)

Many congratulations to ALC Alumni Nox Ntuli, who has had a recent publication article "The Impact of Regional and Sub-regional Norms and Standards on Democratic Governance in Promoting Constitutionalism in Africa", published in the EISA publication Checks and Balances: African constitutions and democracy in the 21st century.

Abstract:

The effectiveness of regional and sub-regional organisations in promoting constitutionalism in Africa is oftn called into question. Yet, when the history of the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and its evolution into the African Union is explained the significant role played by these organisations becomes clear. Although there have been challenges, normative and institutional frameworks have been implemented to address the deficiencies in constitutionalism, including serious human rights violations. Thus, Africa in 2016 was far more conscious of, and complaint with, the principles of constitutionalism than it was in the 1960s after independence. There is no doublt that democratic governance has improved over the years and regional and sub-regional organisations have contributed to these improvements. Nonetheless, there is still considerable work to be done if the continent is, as Agenda 2063 states, to 'create the Africa we want'. The fact that the destination has not yet been reached does not mean that the journey has been a failure.

Nokukhanya Nox Ntuli is an alumna of the Africa Leadership Centre and currently works at the  World Bank Group, International Finance Corporation based in Washington DC.

Read More: Checks and balances: African constitutions and democracy in the 21st century

 

How Cameroonian Communities Secure Their Water Rights

June 23, 2017

by Albert Mbiatem

Republished from IPI Global Observatory

Women stand by a standpipe provided by the Agricultural and Tree Products Program established in Cameroon. (Flickr)
Women stand by a standpipe provided by the Agricultural and Tree Products Program established in Cameroon. (Flickr)

Central Africa’s possession of the second-largest global reserve of dense rainforest attests to the relative abundance of water in the region. Yet inappropriate management of these resources has hampered the ability to respond to the demands of the growing populations of countries such as Cameroon. This has often been a major source of public grievances. In recent years, however, local Cameroonian populations have developed a range of grassroots water projects to seek positive change. These efforts are ultimately helping to respect basic human rights and sustain long-term stability and peace in the country.

Social insecurity, stability and the politics in West Africa: A case study of artisanal and small-scale diamond mining in Guinea, 1958–2008

By Penda Diallo

March 21, 2017

Republished from
ScienceDirect

Highlights

  • In the absence of state support, artisanal mining has become the main source of revenue for rural communities.
  • Artisanal diamond mining has been able to gainfully occupy a large number of rural, unskilled workers.
  • Social insecurity led to the emergence of a circumstantial permissive social contract.
  • Stability and social insecurity can only coexist if there is a circumstantial permissive social contract.

Abstract
The period of protracted conflict in Sierra Leone and Liberia brought the politics of alluvial diamond mining in West Africa to the forefront of academic and policy-oriented discussions. Using social contract theory, this paper moves away from discussions on how minerals have perpetuated conflict in the region, and interrogates how the governance of diamond mining in Guinea impacts regime stability and social insecurity. More importantly, it attempts to illustrate how artisanal diamond mining contributes to stability. The paper situates this discussion within the broad spectrum of the social contract between state and citizens and an analysis of how these are at play in diamond mining areas. It illustrates how artisanal diamond mining enables specific social contracts to emerge and how this in turn contributes to stability in the regions where they are extracted.

Council head challenges ‘neo-colonial narrative about Africa’



By Desmond Davies, London Bureaux

March 17, 2017

Republished from Ghana News Agency

London, Mar 17, GNA – The new Executive Secretary of the Dakar-based Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) wants a move away from “the colonial or neo-colonial narrative about Africa” in terms of knowledge production relating to the continent.

Dr Godwin Murunga, a Kenyan academic, told the GNA: “The history and nature of knowledge production on Africa is skewed in favour of Western, largely foreign, academics.

“Too few people in the world want to listen to African academics speaking about African issues.

“It is only in Africa where many have a right to become specialists about the continent without as much as vising a quarter of it,” Dr Murunga said.

“We expect to construct new forms of knowledge that appreciate the complexity that Africa is and that reveal its relevance to ordinary peoples in Africa.

“Africans have been assaulted by all forms of policy prescriptions that undermine its capacities and render its knowledge suspect.

“CODESRIA must remain the one institution that keeps its faith in the experiences of ordinary Africans and that reveals the different ways in which its diversity is a strength,” said Dr Murunga, who until recently was the Director of King’s College,  London’s African Leadership Centre in Nairobi.

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