On 10 September, US National Security Advisor John Bolton used his first major speech since joining the White House to attack the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) potential investigation of American personnel in Afghanistan. The ‘American patriots’, as Bolton describes them, are being investigated for potential torture and ill-treatment of detainees, mostly in 2003 and 2004, during the United States-led invasion of the country.
Bolton has a long history of opposition to the ICC. Although the US signed the ICC Statute under president Bill Clinton, it was ‘unsigned’ by Bolton, then an under-secretary of state in the George W Bush administration.
And when the court first opened its doors in 2002, Bolton helped secure, in what he described on 10 September as one of his ‘proudest achievements’, around 100 bilateral agreements with other countries to prevent them from delivering US personnel to the ICC.… Seguir leyendo »
With Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as African National Congress (ANC) president, President Jacob Zuma’s highly controversial reign in South Africa is coming to an end. Under Ramaphosa’s leadership, change has been immediate: in the first few weeks of 2018 talks are already afoot for President Zuma to step down, serious steps have been taken to undo corruption in state-owned enterprises like Eskom (South Africa’s dominant energy supplier), and Ramaphosa (not Zuma) was South Africa’s representative at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
One of the issues that requires immediate attention is South Africa’s continued involvement in an international institution that it was instrumental in building, the International Criminal Court (ICC).… Seguir leyendo »
When the International Criminal Court (ICC) charged President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan with the commission of international crimes a fractious relationship developed between the African Union (AU) – who claim that the president should be accorded immunity as a head of state – and the Court. There have been threats by many African states to withdraw from the ICC, and some have taken steps to do so. A meeting of African ministers in New York on 21 September, and an AU Commission proposal presented there by South Africa’s legal adviser, highlight both the ongoing tensions but also, importantly, the possibilities for resolution.… Seguir leyendo »
When the international criminal court began in 2002, there was a widespread hope that those guilty of appalling crimes against humanity would finally be brought to justice. There was a belief too that the very existence of the ICC and its reach would be a brake on the behaviour of other warlords and dictators, increasing protection for hundreds of millions of people.
Those hopes have been badly dented by the African Union’s decision earlier this month to withdraw co-operation with the ICC. In a profoundly depressing move, the AU summit in Libya resolved that its members would not arrest or extradite any African figure it indicted.… Seguir leyendo »