State ‘sovereignty’ and the role of the International Criminal Court’s responsibility to protect in Uganda
Nakabiri, Joanita Namutebi
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This study gives the of the concept of State Sovereignty alongside the role of the International Criminal Court in fostering its Responsibility to protect. It gives a background to the ICC, how the court gained ground in Uganda, the historical and contemporary understandings of the concept of sovereignty. The specific objectives include giving an overview of the Rome Statute as the law governing the ICC, assessing perceptions of the ICC as a tool in the Responsibility to protect alongside the notion of State Sovereignty; identifying factors which influenced the change from original support for the ICC to opposition; and identifying the challenges of the ICC in its implementation of the Responsibility to protect. A sample of 50 respondents was selected, where questionnaires, interviews and documentary analysis provided data needed to answer the research questions. Major findings are given basing on the on objectives of the study. They reveal that sovereignty is seen to clash with human rights protection of the ICC regarding it as interference. Other respondents feel the court should be left to operate because states give up part of their sovereign status when they allow the court to operate in their countries. Factors which influenced opposition towards the court are mostly political. The researcher recommended that the court be more impartial in its operations, the concept of Sovereignty should not be understood from its historical form but accommodate the current international trend, indiscriminately exposing and shaming all gross abusers of human rights among others. Major conclusions drawn are that, there is no bridge to what is being called a debate, dilemma, and opposing trench of sovereignty affecting the work of the ICC. The missing link is the co-existence of both the ICC’s responsibility to protect and Sovereignty. There are inherent tensions between the two. That notwithstanding, no concept should cause a blind eye to be turned to the primary responsibility of every state which is protection and promotion of human rights.