From an excellent article about Charles Taylor’s lead lawyer, Courtenay Griffiths, and his thoughts on international criminal prosecution. H/t to Kate Thomas.
[Griffiths says:] ‘And the truth is that Africa has suffered more wars and more destruction than most other continents over the last 50 years. So there is a need for an end to impunity in Africa. But it’s the way the West is going about it in a selective fashion. A selectivity of denunciation, a selectivity of investigation, a selectivity of prosecution, and even within Africa, a selectivity of indictment. Everyone knows, for example, that [Rwandan president Paul] Kagame and [Ugandan president Yoweri] Musaveni have got their hands covered in blood in eastern Congo. But the West is never going to go after them because they’re Western allies.’
There are limits to this critique of international law, however bracing and insightful it is. It assumes that the main problem is simply that international law is too partial, too selective.