On 15 October 2019, the President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji conducted an official visit to Accra, Ghana, where he delivered a major public lecture in the presence of the President of the Republic of Ghana and held talks with other senior government officials. President Eboe-Osuji used the opportunity to thank Ghana for its strong support of the ICC as well as to emphasize the Court’s multifaceted value to humanity.

At the invitation of the Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), President Eboe-Osuji delivered the Inaugural Annual Public Lecture in International Criminal Justice at the African Centre for International Criminal Justice attached to the Faculty of Law of GIMPA. In his speech, the President emphasized that the Court’s deterrent effect is one of its most significant values to the international community.  “There are many reasons to insist that the mere existence of this permanent judicial mechanism for accountability does truly serve as an inconvenient obstacle to the freewill of those inclined to commit crimes of atrocity”, he said.  

President Eboe-Osuji also underscored ICC’s value to economic and human development, given that the Court’s Statute criminalises conducts which are conducive or inherent to armed conflict and its destructive effects on society.

Addressing the event as a Special Guest, the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said that despite controversies surrounding the functioning of the ICC, there was “little doubt that the emergence of the Court filled … a significant and important void in the global architecture for accountability for evil on a mass scale”. He stressed that there is a “compelling need for the reach of the Court to be universal”, and assured that “Ghana remains committed to its obligations under the Rome Statute and the work of the ICC”.

During his stay in Accra, President Eboe-Osuji also held fruitful bilateral meetings with the Chief Justice of Ghana, Hon. Justice Sophia Akuffo, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon.Shirley Ayorkor Botchway. Among other things, these meetings touched upon the importance of professional exchange to the benefit of strengthening the capacity of national jurisdictions, as well as the importance of outreach and communication to overcome misconceptions about the Court’s work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *