Searching For Law While Seeking Justice: Integrating African Laws, Spirituality and Norms into the Identity of International Criminal Law

When and Where

Friday, March 25, 2022 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm
Online via Zoom


Ayodele Akenroye, Post-Doctoral Fellow, CrimSL


This talk will be conducted via Zoom. Please see below for the Zoom details. 

Abstract: The International Criminal Court’s recent conviction of Dominic Ongwen for 61 charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes and the ensuing legal dilemmas during his prosecution  bolstered the allegation of selective justice consistently levelled against the ICC.  In this regard, some argue that not only is the ICC’s dispensation of justice unfairly focused on African cases but that its dispensation of justice does not adequately incorporate critical features of African laws and values so central to people’s motivation for action. One such arena in which these limitations were evident was in the case of Dominic Ongwen v. The Prosecutor for the ICC. With the goal of detailing what aspects of African cosmologies are occluded from international justice horizons, this talk explores  two key dilemmas raised in the trial and 2021 conviction of Ongwen. They are: (1) The role of spirituality in the corpus of international criminal law, (2) reliance on African laws as alternative and reliable source of international criminal law in compliance with Article 21(1)(c) which allows the ICC to rely on the “…general principles of law derived by the Court from national laws of legal systems of the world…”. Drawing on empirical data from 15,972 citations in the court records and four instances of the application of Article 21(1)(c), this talk will interrogate the challenges of incorporating African laws, spirituality and various cultural norms into the corpus and identity of international criminal law.

Keywords: Uganda; judges; African Laws, Spirituality, Sources of Law.

Zoom Information

Topic: Post-Doctoral Fellow Talks: Ayodele Akenroye
Time: Mar 25, 2022 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 840 2811 9739
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