Laurent Gbagbo, the former president of Ivory Coast, is on trial before the International Criminal Court at The Hague, charged with crimes against humanity.
It is the first time the ICC has tried a former head of state. But is the court promoting “victor’s justice,” by putting the former president on trial, while atrocities committed by his rivals go unpunished? And will the trial help or hinder the ICC’s troubled relations with African states?
Our first edition of Talking Justice, a new monthly podcast, looks at the issues raised by the court’s response to the short but brutal conflict in Ivory Coast that erupted after disputed elections in November 2010.
According to Eric-Aimé Semien, director of the Ivorian Observatory of Human Rights in Abidjan: “All the observers noted that the different crimes were committed from both sides, and only one side is prosecuted. And from this point of view, the ICC is disappointing expectations. Because what people want is that the ICC pursue prosecutions against the two different sides.”
Podcast host James A. Goldston, head of the Open Society Justice Initiative, also talks to Mariana Peña, a lawyer who follows events at the ICC for the Justice Initiative, and to Afia Asare-Kyei of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa.