Expert conference

The ICC in Africa: Coming Undone or Poised for Reform?

The high-level roundtable is hosted by The Brenthurst Foundation in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, the High Commission of Canada and Harvard University’s Center for African Studies.


The troubled relationship between Africa and the International Criminal Court (ICC) has reached a decisive turning point. One of the principal drivers of the establishment of the Court, South Africa, has reaffirmed its intention to formally withdraw from the ICC. In February 2017, the African Union (AU) called for a mass withdrawal. Though the decision is non-binding, it illustrates the level of frustration among some member states who believe the Court unfairly targets Africans and undermines sovereignty. Yet it also revealed sharp divisions within Africa, with some member states redoubling their commitment to the Court. Globally, a number of non-African members have worked behind the scenes to lobby their African colleagues to work for reform within the Court’s structures rather than withdraw en masse.

This full-day high level roundtable will examine key themes that impact the effectiveness of the Court and assess its future prospects. Attached please find a Discussion Paper published by the Foundation which draws on an earlier ICC roundtable and articulates some of the key issues which this event seeks to take forward.

  • Can the ICC renew its place at the centre of global efforts to protect fundamental human rights and act against crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide?
  • Or will it become a more politicised mechanism, increasingly weakened by the perception that it serves the interests of the major powers in a global governance architecture that continues to marginalise Africa?

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Constitution Hill
11 Kotze Street,
2017 Johannesburg
Republic of South Africa
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Henning Suhr

Henning Suhr bild

Head of the KAS office in South Africa +27 11 214 29 00 +27 11 214 29 13/14
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