The African Union and the Future of the International Criminal Court: A Discussion with Elise Keppler, Associate Director of the International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 12:15pm - 1:20pm
Room I
Contact info (email or phone):

Lunch will be served. 

The establishment of the International Criminal Court in 2002 is a major step forward in ensuring justice for atrocities as it is the first permanent international criminal court with authority to try genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Yet the court has come under significant attack by a number of African leaders in recent years over claims the court is unfairly targeting Africa, the region where all of the court’s investigations are from. The presentation will analyze Africa’s relationship with the ICC, what challenges the relationship poses and what we can expect in the coming period.

Elise Keppler is senior counsel with the International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch. She is the author of fact-finding reports on the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone and Uganda’s International Crimes Division, and played an integral role in advocacy for former Liberian president Charles Taylor’s surrender to the Special Court and Darfur’s referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Ms. Keppler works closely with civil society across Africa to combat unprincipled backlash to the ICC following arrest warrants for the Sudanese president for Darfur crimes. She is regularly quoted by international and African media, including Associated Press, British Broadcasting Corporation, Al Jazeera, National Public Radio, New York Times, American Lawyer, Guardian (Nigeria), Daily Times (Malawi), The Monitor (Uganda), and Mail and Guardian (South Africa). 

From January to April 2012, Ms. Keppler was a visiting scholar with the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit at the University of Cape Town’s Faculty of Law, during which she guest lectured on challenges for the future of international justice and and national prosecutions of human rights abuses. A graduate of Brown University and University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law, Ms. Keppler worked as a litigation associate at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP prior to joining the International Justice Program in 2004.

Brian Citro