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Chapter 3 explores the ways in which states subvert international legal institutions and norms in pursuit of their own security and political interests. This chapter argues that the use of self-referrals to the ICC stems from political calculations that allow political leaders to advance their own domestic and international agendas at the expense of furthering the goals of the international justice regime. Chapter 3 is a story of political calculations, political power, and security interests, and the agency of (African) states in creating and shaping the delivery of international justice. The Ugandan case is studied in depth to hightlight the ways in which self-referrals to the ICC stem from strategic calculations that allow states to use the Court to defeat rebel leaders, warlords, and/or political opponents.
Chapter 1 introduces the four major themes around the intersection of state power and international criminal justice that this book explores: the strategic use of self-referrals to the ICC, complementarity between national and international justice systems, the limits of state compliance with international courts, and the use of international courts in domestic political conflicts. Each of these major themes revolves around the ICC and its relationship with states. The four empirical cases – Uganda, Libya, Côte d’Ivoire, and Kenya – are also introduced briefly to highlight the ways in which they tie into the four themes, respectively. Chapter 1 also presents the theoretical framework and design of the book, and explains the selection of case studies.
This book theorizes the ways in which states that are presumed to be weaker in the international system use the International Criminal Court (ICC) to advance their security and political interests. Ultimately, it contends that African states have managed to instrumentally and strategically use the international justice system to their advantage, a theoretical framework that challenges the “justice cascade” argument. The empirical work of this study focuses on four major themes around the intersection of power, states' interests, and the global governance of atrocity crimes: firstly, the strategic use of self-referrals to the ICC; secondly, complementarity between national and the international justice system; thirdly, the limits of state cooperation with international courts; and finally the use of international courts in domestic political conflicts. This book is valuable to students, scholars, and researchers who are interested in international relations, international criminal justice, peace and conflict studies, human rights, and African politics.
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