The International Criminal Court Colloquium: "Challenges and Opportunities for African State and Civil Society Engagement in the ICC Review Process"


On 12 January 2022, the Center for International Law and Policy in Africa (CILPA), with the co-sponsorship of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) and the International Nuremberg Principles Academy (Nuremberg Academy), conducted a roundtable discussion exploring the role of the African states and civil society in the review process of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

This roundtable was the last in a four-part Colloquium Series on the ICC which started in 2021. Opening statements were delivered by Mark D. Agrast, Executive Director of ASIL, Klaus Rackwitz, Director of the Nuremberg Academy and Professor Charles C. Jalloh, Florida International University, Founder of CILPA.

The subsequent panel was comprised of distinguished experts: Professor Dapo Akande, University of Oxford, Yassin M. Brunger, Lecturer, Queens University Belfast, Michael I. Kanu, Deputy Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations and State Co-Facilitator of the ICC Review Process, and Sharon Nakandha, Program Officer, Open Society Foundations, Africa Regional Office.

The panelists analysed the current state of affairs regarding the activities and initiatives following the report of the Group of Independent Experts on the Review of the ICC and the Rome Statute System, which was delivered on 30 September 2020. The experts underlined the importance of a strong engagement of the African states which still form the largest regional group among the ICC state parties and, on whose soil, a significant part of the current situations before the ICC are located. African participation and influence in the activities initiated by the Assembly of State Parties in response to the report were identified as a pivotal tool to increase the engagement and re-engagement of African states. Equally important is the engagement of civil society groups as important representatives of the civilian population as well as the victims, rather than leaving the discussion to other regional groups. The ICC remains the most relevant and functioning institution to ensure accountability for core international crimes committed in Africa. The experts highlighted that African states have made numerous proposals to amend the Rome Statute and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. The review process now offered opportunities to advance these proposals further.