Right to Self Determination: The Trial of African Leaders in Africa

Abstract

Sovereignty of a State accentuates the autonomy of a State. It further demands and indeed dictates that a State shall be free from external interference. Unfortunately, Africans leaders have become the object of prosecutorial caricature. This is because of the consistent trial of African leaders in international courts usually situated outside Africa. Often times, this awry practice is justified by the fact that principle of universal jurisdiction permits it. However, it is glaring that several charters and treaties on human rights permit self-determination. Specifically, article 20 of the African charter stipulates that: “All peoples shall have the unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination. They shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have freely chosen”. The said article 20 contains a gamut of factors that must be weaved in to access the self-determination status of a State. Irrespective of existing right to self-determination, over thirty two African leaders have either been indicted or are standing trial in these international courts in derogation of the right to self-determination of the African states. Therefore, this work sets out to argue that it is a violation of the right to self-determination to try African leaders outside Africa. It ought to be trial of African leaders in Africa. Nothing less is acceptable in law.

Keywords: Leaders, Right to Self-Determination, Trial of African


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 52-63 (Download PDF)

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