International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Gbagbo’s Appeal

I found the recent news about the former Cote d’Ivoire President Gbagbo to be crucial, in terms of the progression into the ICC trial. First, on October 28, the Court rejected Gbagbo’s appeal to be released from detention on the basis that the accused poses an extremely high flight risk. He is facing charges on four accounts – murder, rape, as well as other forms of sexual violence, persecution and inhuman acts – regarding the election and the civil war that broke out in 2010. Gbagbo has been detained by the Court since his surrender, so since exactly 11 months ago. Following this piece of news, on November 2nd, he was deemed fit by the ICC to face the said charges. He was found healthy enough to stand the trial, after the previous preliminary hearing of his assessment was postponed due to the 67 year old’s ill health condition. A new date for the hearing is expected to be announced for Gbagbo, who is still claiming to be innocent. 


I thought about the decision to reject Gbagbo’s appeal in relation to what we discussed in class, about how important the circumstances of national courts are in the process of such trials. I believe the reception of such a decision might have been different had it been given by a national court. The fact that it was declared by the ICC immediately creates a comparatively more neutral perception of the decision, as opposed to a national one where almost always one or more specific bias is thought to be of concern. But overall, I was glad to see the Court decided to be proactive and rejected his appeal on the basis that he wanted to recover from the treatment he allegedly suffered while in detention back in Cote d’Ivoire.


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