Workshop on Promoting Accountability in Africa amid Threats of Withdrawal from the ICC
The International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI), Kituo cha Katiba (KCK) and, the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) organized a workshop of more than 20 African and International experts in international and transitional justice in Arusha, Tanzania, on 10 and 11October 2013. The theme of the workshop was “Promoting Accountability in Africa amid Threats of Withdrawal from the ICC
” and its aim was to come up with a series of recommendations to issue to the African Union, African member states, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the UN Security Council for a renewed approach to international justice issues in Africa.
The gathered experts called on the AU and African states to reaffirm their commitment to fight against impunity in Africa, reflected in Article 4(h) of the AU Constitutive Act, which authorizes the Union to intervene in situations of mass atrocity. The recommendations equally call on the AU and African states to show their commitment to ensuring accountability. At the same time, however, the recommendations recognized the legitimate concerns of African states with regard to the operation of the ICC and other international justice processes, but called on these actors to raise their concerns in appropriate fora. In addition, they called upon the ICC to take on board constructive criticism and to reform its operations to take on board legitimate critiques.
to read the full recommendations
Short Survey on Regional Legal Aid Service Providers in Africa **Deadline Extended**
The Pan African Lawyers Union is developing a Directory of individuals, organizations and law firms offering or ready to offer pro bono
legal representation, or any other form of legal aid, to indigent clients appearing before African continental and (sub) regional Courts and tribunals. This Directory will also include any established funds or facilities offering pro bono
We call upon all individuals and entities offering, or ready to offer, such legal aid to fill a short online Questionnaire here
Please note the deadline for completing the questionnaire has now been extended to 10 November 2013
The Directory will be included in a «Guide on Complementarity within the African Human Rights System», that we shall publish. It will also be availed online and be updated frequently. Its main scope is to promote access to justice for indigent applicants, to support partnerships with organizations offering legal aid, as well as for the use of the African international courts and tribunals aforementioned.
If you need any assistance filling the Questionnaire or if you need more information, please contact Ms. Irini Anastassiou
or call +255 (27) 254-3192/4.
International Institute Of Law Association Chief Executives (IILACE) Annual Conference & General Meeting (AC-AGM)
PALU’s CEO took part as a panelist in the IILACE AC-AGM which was held in Berlin from 18 to 21 September. The Annual Conference brought together executive directors and chief executive officers from around the world to discuss issues of relevance to Law societies and Bar Associations
For more information you can email the IILACE Coordinator Suzanne Gauthier
PALU Participates in Financial Transparency Coalition Annual Conference
PALU took part in the 2013 Annual Financial Transparency Coalition (FTC)
Conference that was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 1 and 2 October. The Annual Conference brought together a diverse set of voices and experts working on and around issues of Illicit Financial Flows. The conference called for global policymakers to adopt measures to counter the hundreds of billions of dollars siphoned out of the African continent through money laundering and corporate tax avoidance.
The post-conference press release can be found here
and the PowerPoint presentations from the conference are available here
PALU Takes Part in Meeting on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence during Conflict
PALU took part in a high-level expert meeting from 9 to 11 October in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The meeting which was jointly organized by the African Union Commission (Commission) and African Solidarity Initiative (ASI) was on the theme: "Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence in Conflict, Post- Conflict Countries And Beyond
". The meeting focused on 8 post-conflict nations, namely Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Republic of Southern Sudan, and The Republic of Sudan. It brought together the AU Member states, the UN system, academics and practitioners working on the issues of prevention and response to sexual violence in Africa in a dialogue to address the compelling situation of Sexual violence on the Continent.
PALU made a presentation under the title "An Overview of the International Legislative Framework to Combat Sexual Violence"
The meeting developed high priority recommendations and inputs for a Continental framework of action, based on an analysis of the critical gaps in existing responses with regard to prevention, protection, access to services and other social and economic supports, reintegration, and access to justice and ending impunity.
For more information on these recommendations you can contact Ms. Antonia N'Gabala-Sodonon
Strathmore University Ethics Conference
PALU presented a paper on Lawyers, Ethics and PALU at the Ethics Conference organized by Strathmore University on 24 and 25 November. The Conference was held under the theme: "Celebrating a Culture of Ethics: 10 Years of the Strathmore Annual Ethics Conference"
The objective of this year’s conference was to revisit some of the themes addressed in past conferences with a particular emphasis on Business Ethics. The goal of the exercise was to critically analyze the gains made thus far. The Conference sought to provide the opportunity for businesses and other participants to showcase practical initiatives on inculcating ethics in business and in leadership and governance and to evaluate the effectiveness of such initiatives in fostering a culture of ethics in society.
for the Concept note and further information.
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NEWS FROM OUR MEMBERS
Ghana Bar Association Enrols New members
On 4 October, the Ghana Bar Association enrolled new members. The enrollment mandated them to practice as lawyers after their pupillage. In total 183 members were called to the Bar. Amongst these, Ms. Hagga Addo won the Mensah Sarbah Memorial award, which is given to the graduate with the best all-round performance. The Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Georgina Theodora Wood, congratulated the new lawyers and encouraged them to be committed to preserving the rule of law and strive to promote the ideals of good governance.
PALU congratulates the new lawyers and reiterates the wise words of the Chief Justice as they reflect PALU’s vision to see a United, Just and Prosperous Africa based on the Rule of Law and Good Governance.
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NEWS FROM OTHER ORGANISATIONS
Justice Bernard M. Ngoepe elected as Vice President of the African Court
The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights elected Hon. Justice Bernard Makgabo Ngoepe as Vice President on the 17 September 2013 with immediate effect following resignation by Hon. Justice Fatsah Ouguergouz (Former Vice President) on 16 September 2013.
Justice Bernard Makgabo Ngoepe, was first elected as a Judge in 2006 for a two-year term and re-elected in 2008 for a six-year term.
Justice Bernard Makgabo Ngoepe holds a graduate (B.Juris) and post-graduate (LLB) law degrees. He practised law for more than 20 years in various fields, including human rights before his appointment as a Judge of the High Court in South Africa in 1995, and Judge President of the same Court in 1999. Justice Ngoepe has also acted as Justice of both the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
For more information please click the following African Court links: here
for Arabic, here
for English, here
for French and here
East African Court of Justice (EACJ) Launches Court User Guide
In October, the EACJ officially launched its new user guide during a stakeholders’ workshop held at Hotel La Mada in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop was organized by the EACJ in collaboration with Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI) of Lund University, Sweden.
The President of the Court, Hon. Mr. Harold R. Nsekela, commended the cooperation and understanding by RWI and for their generous support to address the knowledge gap in the existence of the Court through developing the EACJ User Guide as well as other activities to promote and increase awareness of the Court.
ICC Rules the Case of Prosecutor v. Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi Inadmissible
On 11 October, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided that the case against Mr Al-Senussi is currently subject to domestic proceedings conducted by the Libyan competent authorities and that Libya was willing and able genuinely to carry out such investigation. The Judges concluded that the case was inadmissible before the Court, in accordance with the principle of complementarity enshrined in the Rome Statute, founding treaty of the ICC.
The Prosecutor and the Defence may appeal this decision and the Prosecutor may submit a request for review of the decision when she is fully satisfied that new facts have arisen which negate the basis on which the case had previously been found inadmissible under article 17.
Libya had filed a challenge to the admissibility of the case on 2 April 2013. The Chamber found that the evidence submitted by Libya was sufficient to conclude that the Libyan and the ICC investigations cover the same case and that concrete and progressive steps are being undertaken by the domestic authorities in the proceedings against Mr Al-Senussi. The Chamber’s decision took into account, holistically, the fact that Al-Senussi is detained under State custody, the quantity and quality of the evidence collected as part of the domestic investigations, the recent transfer to the Accusation Chamber of the case against Mr Al-Senussi and his other 37 co-defendants, the example of certain judicial proceedings conducted to date against other former Gaddafi-era officials, and the efforts made to resolve certain issues in the justice system by recourse to international assistance.
For further information on this case, please click here
for a summary of the decision.
Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU
The AU organized its Extraordinary Summit on 11 and 12 October 2013.
The decisions adopted are available in three languages.
For the English decision click here
For the French decision click here
For the Portuguese decision click here
Other resources related to the Summit are also available here
The African Court Coalition (ACC) holds Advocacy Mission in Banjul
The ACC held an Advocacy Mission in Banjul, The Gambia from 18 to 29 October in line with the 54th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission). The aim of the mission was to give updates on developments at the African Court and the work of the African Court Coalition in popularizing the work of the Court. It also focused on the ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights Establishing the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights (the Protocol) and the Declaration under Article 34(6) of the same Protocol.
For more information on presentations and resolutions you can contact Sophia Ebby
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8th CSO Forum on the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC)
The 8th CSO Forum on the ACRWC will be held in Addis Ababa from 31 October to 2 November. It will be held on the theme of the Day of the African Child for 2013: Eliminating Harmful Social and Cultural Practices Affecting Children: Our Collective Responsibility.
The objectives of the 8th CSO Forum are:
For details on registration you can visit: http://www.nglawdigestevents.com
The 2nd Forum of the African Union Commission on International Law and African Union Law (AUCIL)
2nd Forum of the AUCIL is scheduled to take place at the Headquarters of the African Union on 11 and 12 November 2013. The information is available in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic.
For more information please visit the African Union website here.
Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) Summer School
PALU will take part in the LSZ Summer School to be held in Nyanga Troutbeck from 7 to 11 November. The Summer school provides the profession with an opportunity to discuss profound issues in a relaxed environment. The theme for this year’s summer school is “Exploring the New Dispension: Opportunities for the Legal Profession
For more information you can contact Mr. Edward Mapara
Fourth Forum on China- Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) Conference
PALU will take part in 4th FOCAC Conference to be held in Victoria Falls from the 18 to 22 November. The Conference which will be held in Victoria Falls is being coordinated by the Attorney General's office Zimbabwe. It will be held under the theme "Practicing Legal Diplomacy Taking China - Africa Relations to New Heights
For more information you can contact Mr. Edward Mapara
South African Conference on Tax Justice - A Human Rights Issue?
PALU will take part in a conference entitled Tax and Poverty: a Role for Lawyers
, which will take place in Johannesburg on 21 November 2013.
At the event, participants will discuss the findings of the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute Task Force on Tax, Illicit Financial Flows and Poverty and the launch of several tax justice initiatives in sub Saharan Africa. The conference is free to attend, with an invited audience of policymakers, lawyers, accountants, corporations, NGOs and other experts.
The conference has been organized by Lawyers for Better Business and SAIFAC (South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law, a centre of the University of Johannesburg), with the support of the Tax Justice Network, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute, the Law Society of South Africa, Oxfam, Christian Aid and Action Aid.
RSVP should be directed to Dolores Joseph
by 18 November 2013.
African Court to hold Continental Conference for the Media
The African Court will be holding a Continental Conference on the Media on 21 November at AICC Hall in Arusha, Tanzania. The main objective of the Conference is to develop an effective working relationship between the Court and the media in AU member states with a view to enhancing human rights protection in Africa by raising awareness of the African Court among the media.
for the Concept note and further information.
Civil Society Forum on EAC Integration
The Foundation is implementing a project aimed at Enhancing Citizens Engagement and Participation in the East African Community Integration. One of the key activities of the project is to organize and hold a 2-day Tanzania CSOs Forum. The forum serves as a platform through which Tanzanian CSOs can reflect their engagement in EAC Integration while learning from experience of CSOs from other partner states. ". PALU will take part a presenter in the forum which will be held on 26 and 27 November at Arusha International Conference Centre in Arusha, Tanzania. This year the forum carries the theme "The Role of CSOs in Strengthening East African Regional Integration
For more information and details on how to attend you can email Neema Yobu
15th EU-NGO forum on Human Rights
PALU will take part in the 15th EU-NGO forum on Human Rights which will be held on 5 and 6 December 2013 at Pullman Brussels Midi hotel. The Forum program is available at www.15th-ngo-forum-human-rights.eu
For details on how to register you can contact Sylvie Herman
. Alternatively you can visit the Forum website: www.15th-ngo-forum-human-rights.eu
Strategies and Next Steps for the Responsibility to Protect
Stanley Foundation and the UN Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect will be holding a high-level meeting on 19 and 20 November at Tarrytown House Estate & Conference Centre in New York. The meeting will be on the theme: "Strategies and Next Steps for the Responsibility to Protect"
For more information on how to attend you can contact please contact Elaine Schilling
Program Assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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ADVERTISEMENTS AND VACANCIES
Upcoming Course in Anti-Corruption Studies
The International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) will be offering a Master in Anti-Corruption Studies. Registrations started on 15 October and Applications will be accepted until 31 March 2014.
For more information click here.
IDLO Regional Program Manager, Africa Vacancy
The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) is looking for Regional Program Manager for Africa. Under the direct supervision of the Director, Programs and in close collaboration with the Strategy & Innovation Department the incumbent is responsible for the development and implementation of innovative and complex programs, and acts as a focal point for information flow between the relevant program teams in the field and Headquarters for the Africa region. The incumbent will coordinate and report on program status and progress and communicate these internally to IDLO and/or to respective stakeholders, as needed.