The Hissène Habré Case And Africa’s Contribution to International Criminal Justice

Africa is often perceived as a place where serious crimes go unpunished, especially those perpetrated by “personalities”. This perception is somewhat challenged by the Hissène Habré case. The trial and conviction of Mr. Hissène Habré, former President of the Republic of Chad, before the Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC) for crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture, is a historic turning point in the application of international criminal justice in Africa. This study explores the contribution of EACs and highlights the place, strengths, and importance of the civil law system in the application of international criminal justice at the national, regional, and international levels.

The methodology adopted in the study is based on semi-structured interviews and guided talks with different actors and key stakeholders in the Habré trial. The purpose of the talks was to gather primary data and information from the participants, based on their respective statuses and roles. The study also involved a literature review to identify and analyze academic and other publications relevant to the topics it addressed. Research was done using a comparative analysis of legal systems. This method provides lawyers with tools needed to understand foreign judicial systems that may be relevant to solving the legal problems they face in their respective jurisdictions. Finally, legal pluralism was also used to establish the need for the Africanization of applicable law to enable judges to seek solutions to legal issues outside of the traditional legal framework.

Available in print in July 2024. Order fromEditions Harmathan

Date of publication: August 2023


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