It is often assumed that the independence of a criminal court is synonymous to the impartiality of judges. However, discussions around the independence of the International Criminal Court are in most cases about the Court as an institution and on the work of the Office of the Prosecutor. The Independence of the International Criminal Court: Between a Rock and a Hard Place focuses on understanding the different competing narratives defending and critiquing the Court’s ‘institutional’ independence and legitimacy, especially in its relationship with Africa. Critical Discourse Analysis technics are used to capture the way language is used to express collective power capable of influencing the policies of the Court.
‘Dr. Alphonse Muleefu has written a book that calls for an in depth dialogue between the critics and supporters of the International Criminal Court It is definitely worth reading.’
Prof. Dr. R.M. Letschert, Rector Magnificus Maastricht University
‘The Independence of the International Criminal Court: Between A Rock and A Hard Place provides a tremendously vivid and fascinating study of politics in action. By analysing the public speeches and written texts that mark critical moments in the court's history, the book offers a desperately needed analysis of the place of politics in the life of the law. Alphonse captures beautifully various key discourses and sets them side-by-side forcing us to contend with the difficulties of the ICC's relationship with Africa and their implications for understanding law in an uneven world. He also turns us to the crude realities of that world as seen in the spoken and written word, highlighting how the key challenge of twenty-first century justice analysis is not only what is done and what is said but also how those things are seen. A refreshing account of the complex dynamics of discourse. A must read.’
Prof. Kamari M. Clarke, The University of California, Los Angeles
‘In his much-needed and penetrating study of the International Criminal Court, Alphonse Muleefu provides an alternative perspective on questions of legitimacy and judicial independence that avoids the simplistic approaches advocated by both the most passionate supporters of the court and its most ardent critics.’
Prof. Mark Goodale, University of Lausanne
‘In assessing the ICC's independence and legitimacy, Alphonse Muleefu is scrupulously even-handed in weighing the claims of the Court's supporters and critics. The book's dialogical approach enables a deep understanding of how the ICC views its role in addressing mass crimes and why the Court's critics - especially in Africa - are so concerned about its impact across the continent. This book is nuanced, thorough and essential reading for anyone trying to fathom where the ICC finds itself 17 years into its existence.’
Dr. Phil Clark, SOAS University of London
About the author
Dr. Alphonse Muleefu is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Law of the University of Rwanda. Previously, he worked with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), International Criminal Court (ICC) and Gacaca Courts. He holds a Bachelor of laws (LLB) from the National University of Rwanda (as it was then), as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) and a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Law from Tilburg University, The Netherlands.
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The time that criminal law was pre-eminently a national matter is gone. Criminal law and criminal procedure is no longer solely a product of decisions made by national legislative bodies, applied by national police, prosecutors and judges. A new criminal law is developing which goes beyond separate nations: supranational criminal law.
One example of this development is the relatively young body of law concerning war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Particularly essential to this development has been the establishment of the ICTY, the ICTR and the ICC, and of many internationalised tribunals all over the world. A second example of the development towards the supranationalisation of criminal law can be seen on a more regional level. In Europe for instance, the area of criminal law has become a prioritised field of co-operation in the third pillar of the European Union. These supranational criminal systems are criminal systems sui generis.
That at least is the presupposition of this series on supranational criminal law. The Supranational Criminal Law: Capita Selecta series contributes to this discussion from a theoretical, dogmatic point of view, working towards new, consistent and fair penal systems, crossing the borders of the old law families and traditions.
The series is edited by Dr. Roelof H. Haveman (editor-in-chief - Rule of Law Advisor, embassy of the Netherlands in Mali), Dr. Paul J.A. De Hert (Free University of Brussels, Belgium and University of Tilburg, the Netherlands) and Dr. Alette Smeulers (University of Groningen, the Netherlands).
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