Thursday, November 8, 2012

"International Law & Africa" online course

The headline on the Google list – "6: International Criminal Justice and Africa" – intrigued.
What was that "6" about?
One click revealed an exposition, on the International Criminal Court and related issues, that's well-written, well-reasoned, informative  – and timely, given the address on Libya that ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda delivered to the U.N. Security Council yesterday. (Video of Bensouda's report and member state comments here; screengrab at right courtesy of UN webcast; IntLawGrrls' prior posts on the Situation in Libya here.)
The author of the No. 6 essay is Dr. Chacha Bhoke Murungu, a researcher at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa and author of Prosecuting International Crimes in Africa.
Given the specific focus indicated in his title, his essay included a section sub-headed with an oft-asked question:
'Are the ICC and the Security Council biased against Africa?'
Then followed a careful discussion of jurisdiction and other factors – in Bhoke's words, "the outwardly neutral field of law and the political decisions" at play.
The essay concluded with a fact sheet and further questions to consider.
Turns out this item, posted Tuesday, was No. 6 in a "Free Online Course: International Law and Africa," offered at a year-old, London-based webzine called Think Africa Press.
Authoring these online course sessions are inter alia Maryland Law Professor Maxwell Chibundu and Utah Law Professor Antony Anghie.
Other topics covered so far in the course, which began last Friday (links available here):
(course logo; credit Think Africa Press)
1: An Introduction to TAP's New Course, "International Law and Africa"
2: Sources of International Law
3: Africa, Sovereignty and International Law
4: Africa's Application of UN Human Rights Enforcement Systems
5: Understanding The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights
7: Responsibility to Protect
Kudos to the course editors, Rom Bhandari and James Wan, for putting this together.  Readers, check it out.

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