The Withdrawal of African States from the ICC: Good, Bad or Irrelevant?

  • Konstantinos D. MagliverasEmail author


Since 2009, there has been a serious antiparathesis between the African Union (AU) and the International Criminal Court (ICC), which, according to the AU, has principally concerned unjustified ICC prosecutions against African dignitaries. This has led certain African ICC parties to announce their withdrawal from it, while the AU adopted the so-called ‘ICC Withdrawal Strategy’ in January 2017. This article analyses the background to and the content of the antiparathesis, it examines the consequences of the African parties’ withdrawal from the ICC as regards the large-scale impunity in Africa, and it proposes the creation of ICC regional circuit chambers as a possible solution to realign relations between the AU and the ICC. Specifically, the proposal suggests the creation of several ICC regional circuit chambers, each being responsible for the alleged crimes committed in the territory of ICC parties belonging to a specific continent. Pertinent solutions to the institutional and practical issues arising from this proposal are offered.


African Union International Criminal Court Withdrawal International criminal justice International tribunals Impunity 



The author would like to thank the Modern Law Review for its award of funding for ‘The Crisis of International Criminal Law in Africa’ conference. A draft of this article was delivered at that conference which was held at the Universities of Johannesburg and Leicester on 7 November 2017.


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mediterranean StudiesUniversity of the AegeanRhodesGreece

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