The Zimbabwe Torture Case: Reflections on Domestic Litigation for International Crimes in Africa

Authors Angela Mudukuti

ISSN: 1996-2088
Affiliations: International Criminal Justice Lawyer at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre
Source: Acta Juridica, 2016, p. 287 – 296


This piece highlights the importance of civil society initiatives to fight impunity on the domestic level in African countries, drawing on my experiences working on international criminal justice issues at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre. International crimes cannot be the business of the International Criminal Court alone and in order for complementarity to be realised, domestic jurisdictions must pull their weight. Here I will focus on one crucial civil society accountability initiative, the ground-breaking universal jurisdiction case that set an important precedent in South Africa, and globally: Southern Africa Litigation Centre and Another v The National Director of Public Prosecutions and Others. I will set out the key aspects of the case that enabled SALC to require the South African authorities to investigate allegations of international crimes, and show how the case has Continental and global significance by breathing new life into the principle of universal jurisdiction.