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30 member states
800 Coalition members
30 national Coalitions

African states and civil society were instrumental in pushing for the establishment of the ICC—support reflected in the large number of ICC member states and highly active civil society. With our local partners, we are working to ensure victims’ demands for justice are met in national courts and through the ICC.

A majority of African states have joined the ICC, but much work remains. Only two states have enacted legislation incorporating the Rome Statute into domestic law, a key step to fully participating in the ICC system.

Anti-ICC rhetoric

To date, each of the ICC’s investigations have been located in Africa. Critics of the Court say this is evidence of an anti-African bias.

In reality, the majority of the ICC investigations have been either referred to the Court by the states themselves or by the UN Security Council. The ICC’s workload is also more than just investigations. Preliminary examinations, used by the prosecutor’s office to decide whether a full investigation is warranted and to nudge national authorities to take action on their own, have focused on countries allover the world, from Colombia to Korea.

Our Coalition, including members in Africa, works to dispel the myth of an anti-African ICC. Despite harsh criticism, civil society in Africa continues to fight against impunity for the world’s worst crimes.

Leave the ICC?

African leaders looking to avoid accountability have taken the strong step of calling for African states to leave the Rome Statute system.

During a number of African Union (AU) summits, several states have brought up this idea of a mass exodus from the Court. Some of undertaken legislative processes to do so, but to date no ICC member states have withdrawn from the Rome Statute. Our Coalition, while advocating for more African states to join, works hard to ensure that those who have joined up remain members of the ICC system of justice.

AU antagonism

The ICC’s relationship with Africa’s largest regional organization, the AU, is strained by not beyond repair.

The perception of anti-African bias has enabled a handful of leaders to use the AU to hinder cooperation with the ICC. In addition to calls to leave the Court, the AU also urges its member states to disregard arrest warrants for sitting heads of state, most notable Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir.

Immunity = Impunity

Government office is not a defense for war crimes.

Our Coalition works with AU and government representatives to improve the organization’s relationship with the Court.

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