Africa and the Backlash Against International Courts

Africa and the Backlash Against International Courts
Peter Brett, Line Engbo Gissel
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At the start of the twenty-first century the story of Africa' sengagement with international law was one of marked commitment and meaningfulcontributions. Africa pioneered new areas of law and legal remedies, such asinternational criminal law and universal jurisdiction, and gave human rightsjurisdiction to a number of new international courts. However, in recent years,African states have mobilised politically and collectively against the regionalcourts and the International Criminal Court, contesting these institutions' authority and legitimacy at national, regional and international levels. Africa and the BacklashAgainst International Courts provides the firstcomprehensive account of this important phenomenon, bringing together originalfieldwork, empirical analysis and a critical overview of the diversescholarship on both international and African regional courts. Moving beyondconventional explanations, Brett and Gissel use this remarkable research toshow how the actions of African states should instead be seen as part of agrowing desire for a more equal global order; a trend that not only has hugeimplications for Africa' s international relations, but that could potentiallychange the entire practice of international law.
' This erudite and engaging book digs into thecomplexity of sovereignty to show how backlash against international justice isrooted in broader legitimation strategies African states engage. ' Kerstin Bree Carlson, University of Southern Denmark ' The authors explore African states' complex entanglementswith a wide range of international and regional courts with theoreticalsophistication and superb empirical depth. A must-read for anyone interested inthe historical and political undercurrents that determine these modernphenomena. ' Phil Clark, School of Oriental and African Studies ' The relationship between African states and internationalcourts has long called for careful, compassionate, and comprehensivereflection. This book offers just that and is bound to be essential reading forthose interested in "backlash" and global equality. ' Mark Kersten, University of Toronto
Peter Brett is a senior lecturer in international politics at Queen Mary, University of London. He teaches the politics of international law and Africa' s international relations. His research focuses on the politics of rights and the judiciary, with a particular interest in Southern and West Africa. Line Engbo Gissel is an associate professor at Roskilde University, where she teaches global governance and human rights. Her research focuses on the politics of transitional justice, the role of the International Criminal Court in East Africa and the relationship between peace and justice.