A Struggle for Power and Sovereignty: The International Criminal Court and Uganda Open Access

Withers, Laura Devon (2013)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/9z903003h?locale=en
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Abstract

The conflict in Northern Uganda between the Ugandan military and Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) raged for fifteen years before the government referred the situation to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2003. This case became the court's first case, its test case, and in many ways the outcome of its involvement has harmed its goals of becoming a truly global institution that distributes justice fairly and without bias. The ICC became a part of the Ugandan government's narratives of power, developed between 1997 and 2003, structured in such a way as to attempt to bolster the legitimacy and power of the state-military complex. As the government faced a 1997 crisis of power - the result of a failure to bring peace in the north and threats to an assertive neo-patrimonial state structure - it became necessary to portray various "others" as the true impediments to peace. Each of these methods of maintaining the state's power, however, meant a consequent reduction in the state's sovereignty. Situated within the negotiations of the "layered sovereignty" paradigm currently associated with the international order, it became necessary for the Ugandan state to surrender various elements of his apparent sovereignty. It appears to have quite willingly done so in order to maintain the appearance of its power. The problem arose for the ICC when its formal legal structure demanded that both the sovereignty and, to some extent, the power of the Ugandan state be sacrificed in the pursuit of international justice. The government refused and reclaimed both in a way that to this day leaves the court apparently a paragon of "Western justice" bent upon its imposition upon a "traditional" African culture.

Table of Contents


Introduction...........................1 Chapter One: The Crisis...... .....13 Chapter Two: The Reaction...... 25 Chapter Three: The Solution..... 39 Conclusion.............................50 Bibliography...........................54

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