Regionalism, Regime Complexes, and the Crisis in International Criminal Justice

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This Article identifies an emerging regime complex in the field of international criminal law and analyzes the development of the regional criminal court to the African Court of Justice and Human Rights.  A regime complex refers to the way in which two or more institutions intersect in terms of their scope and purpose.  This Article discusses how the International Criminal Court’s institutional crisis created a space for regional innovation.  It demonstrates how the development of a regional criminal court in Africa is the result of intersecting factors in international criminal justice.  It finds that regime complexes can form not only due to strategic inconsistencies as discussed in the literature, but also because of the influence of regional integration.  It argues that the regionalization of international criminal law is a useful addition to the field of international criminal justice, which has hitherto been hampered by the limitations of both domestic and international adjudication.  This Article concludes that regionalization of international criminal law is a positive development.

54 Colum. J. Transnat'l L.