In the face of the withdrawal of African states from the International Criminal Court (ICC), Africa’s Human Rights Community has called upon African leaders to create a regional criminal court for Africa.
From 7 to 8 November 2016, over 80 human rights organisations from Eastern and Southern Africa, which included the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, met in Pretoria to review the state of regional and international criminal justice systems. The organisations called upon African leaders to create a regional criminal court that can address the continent’s persistent challenges, including the scourge of conflict and impunity.
The meeting which was organised by the Foundation for Human Rights, Amnesty International, Southern Africa Litigation Centre, Lawyers for Human Rights, Centre for Human Rights-University of Pretoria and Southern African Liaison Office was attended by leading civil society groups, professional associations, government representatives, African Union representatives, academics and key media leaders.
The meeting reflected on the African Union Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights (Malabo Protocol), its potential, pitfalls and the way forward for international justice in Africa in the face of the potential withdrawal by other African states.