SOAS University of London

Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice

Complementarity in the line of fire: The Catalysing Effect of the International Criminal Court in Uganda and Sudan

Dr. Sarah Nouwen

Date: 9 May 2014Time: 4:00 PM

Finishes: 9 May 2014Time: 6:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 116

Type of Event: Lecture

Of the many expectations attending the creation of the first permanent International Criminal Court, the greatest has been that the principle of complementarity would catalyse national investigations and prosecutions of conflict-related crimes and lead to the reform of domestic justice systems. In a recently published book, Sarah Nouwen explores whether complementarity has had such an effect in two states subject to ICC intervention: Uganda and Sudan. Drawing on extensive empirical research and combining law, legal anthropology and political economy, she unveils several effects and outlines the catalysts for them. However, she also reveals that one widely anticipated effect – an increase in domestic proceedings for conflict-related crimes – has barely occurred. This finding leads to the unravelling of paradoxes that go right to the heart of the functioning of an idealistic Court in a world of real constraints.

Sarah Nouwen is University Lecturer in Law, University of Cambridge, and fellow of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law and Pembroke College. Her research interests lie at the intersections of law & politics, war & peace and justice & the rule of law. Her book Complementarity in the Line of Fire: The International Criminal Court in Uganda and Sudan (CUP, 2013) is a study of the ICC's catalysing effect based on years of empirical research in the two states concerned. Sarah has worked as an advisor to several governments, NGOs and international organisations. In 2010-11 she served as legal advisor to the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan.