Universalising international criminal law: The ICC, Africa and the problem of political perceptions


This paper discusses the universal aspirations of the International Criminal Court (ICC), why the ICC’s reach thus far has been focused exclusively on the African continent, and how this geographic limitation has affected African perceptions of international criminal justice. The paper argues that the ICC’s narrow application of international criminal law has given rise to a perception problem, the sum of which can no longer be ignored and which threatens to undermine the credibility of the Court.

About the author

Max du Plessis is a senior research associate at the International Crime in Africa Programme (ICAP) at the ISS. He is also an Associate Professor of Law at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and a member of the KwaZulu-Natal Bar with special expertise in international law, constitutional law and administrative law. Max has written widely in the fields of international criminal law and human rights. He is an associate tenant at Doughty Street Chambers, London.




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