African Efforts to Close the Impunity Gap

ISS Paper 241: 
Lessons for complementarity from national and regional actions
Max du Plessis, Antoinette Louw & 
Ottilia Maunganidze
The position taken by the African Union towards the ICC creates the impression that African states are resistant to international criminal justice. This paper argues that the reality is quite different. The continent provides many examples of international justice in practice. A review of selected domestic and regional efforts suggests that a richer understanding of the Rome Statute’s ‘complementarity’ scheme is developing – one involving states, regional organisations and civil society working to close the impunity gap. Such actions are giving effect to the notion that while the ICC can provide justice through a few highly publicised trials, for justice to be brought home in any meaningful way, domestic action is essential.  
The publication of this paper was made possible with the support of the Governments of the Netherlands and Norway.

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