International Criminal Law in Africa


Final Level, half course, first semester, two lectures per week.

Course convener: Dr Hannah Woolaver

Course Outline: This course provides students with a firm understanding of the key aspects of international criminal law, focusing on the impact and applica tion of this body of law in the African continent. The first section of the course will provide an overview of the historical development of international criminal law, from its origins in the Nuremberg Tribunal, culminating in the establishment of the International Criminal Court. The second section of the course will examine the legal elements of the core international crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. Section three will provide an analysis of the modes of liability of international crimes, focusing on liability for the commission of group crimes and superior responsibility. The final section will detail the procedural aspects of enforcement, including jurisdiction of domestic and international courts and the issue of immunity of senior State officials. This section will emphasise prosecution of international crimes in the domestic courts of South Africa, and will also consider the validity of domestic amnesty agreements for international crimes. Case studies throughout the course will be based on situations in the African continent, to draw out the particular challenges and possibilities for enforcement of international criminal law on the continent.

DP requirements: Satisfactory attendance at weekly seminars.

Assessment: Essay (2500 words) 20%; In-class presentation 10%; Final examination 70%