Africa has been at the forefront of developments in international criminal justice. Several initiatives have targeted those responsible for serious human rights violations: the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone as well as the cases involving Hissène Habré, Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam and Charles Taylor. At the political level, support for ending impunity for those responsible for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity is also evident: the African Union's Constitutive Act commits member countries to stamping out impunity, and more than half of African states have ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
But for a continent that is home to many international human rights atrocities, the real challenge is converting this political commitment into awareness and implementation. To enhance the capacity of African countries to end impunity, the African Guide to International Criminal Justice provides judges, prosecutors, defence lawyers and government officials with an African-focused manual on international criminal justice. The Guide aims to ensure that international criminal justice is better understood and that African states are equipped to comply with their obligations under international law and the Rome Statute.
Edited by: Max du Plessis