Complementarity’s Monopoly on Justice in Uganda: The International Criminal Court, Victims and Thomas Kwoyelo

in International Criminal Law Review
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Complementarity has been extolled as the pioneering way for the International Criminal Court (icc) to navigate the difficulties of state sovereignty when investigating and prosecuting international crimes. Victims have often been held up to justify and legitimise the work of the icc and states complementing the Court through domestic processes. This article examines how Uganda has developed its laws, legal procedure, and accountability for international crimes over the past decade. This has culminated in the trial of Thomas Kwoyelo, which after five years of proceedings, has yet to move to the trial phase, due to the issue of an amnesty. While there has been a profusion of provisions to allow victims to participate, avail of protection measures and reparations, in practice very little has changed for them. This article highlights the dangers of complementarity being the sole solution to protracted conflicts, in particular the realisation of victims’ rights.

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  • 2

     See Luke Moffett‘Elaborating Justice for Victims at the International Criminal Court: Beyond Rhetoric and The Hague’Journal of International Criminal Justice 13(2) (2015) 281–311.

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  • 17

     See William W. Burke-White‘Implementing a Policy of Positive Complementarity in the Rome System of Justice’Criminal Law Forum 19(1) (2008) 59–85.

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  • 18

    Moffettsupra note 2.

  • 26

    Interview female victim 9 July 2011.

  • 38

    Section 123 Penal Code Act 1950.

  • 46

    Preamble Amnesty Act 2000.

  • 47

    Section 2 Amnesty Act 2000.

  • 81

    The Witness Protection Bill 2011draft 7 October 2011 (on file with the author).

  • 91

     See Moffettsupra note 35.

  • 99

    Justice Dr Kisaakyeibid. p. 73.

  • 107

    Nouwensupra note 90 pp. 241–243.

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