chapter  10
25 Pages

International criminal law and individualism

An African perspective
WithChristopher Gevers

This chapter considers the prevalence within the international criminal law project and surrounding discourse of 'individualism' in terms of its methodology its narrative and the ends it seeks to achieve and the consequences of this for concerns raised by African states in relation to the project. From an African perspective, these include sidelining or downplaying the historical failure of ICL to address colonial crimes, as well as the misrepresentation of the complex relationship between ICL and sovereignty in a manner that conceals both its hegemonic tendencies and emancipatory potential. The casual relationship between international crimes and sovereignty is equally complex; as Cryer has pointed out: 'An excess of sovereignty and state power can lead to international crimes, as in the Holocaust, but so can a lack of sovereign authority, as in Somalia or Sierra Leone'. International criminal law's association with the other 'individualist' projects of international law is represented differently within the ICL histories.