Validation Workshop on the Draft African Transitional Justice Framework (ATJF)
PALU participated in the technical experts validation of the African Transitional Justice Framework jointly organized by the African Union Department of Political Affairs, Office of the Legal Counsel and the Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.
The need for the a Framework governing states emerging from conflict was borne out of the fact that Africa has significantly contributed to the development of norms and practise regarding the responsibility to protect and the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, a gap still exists between the existence of the norms and implementation by African states. The Framework was therefore developed to assist states to recognize their obligations and responsibilities towards ensuring protection from and accountability for violations including providing guidelines on meeting the needs of victims.
The Framework will be submitted to the Specialized Technical Committee for review before it is considered for adoption by the African Union Executive Council. A copy of the Framework can be found here
Fair Trial Guidelines
PALU participated in a strategic planning meeting on Tanzania's implementation of the Luanda Guidelines on Conditions of Police Custody and Pre-Trial Detention in Africa. The event was convened by the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF) and the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG). The event aimed at reviewing gaps between Tanzania’s legislative, administrative and policy framework for arrest, police custody and pre-trial detention and identification of immediate and mid-term opportunities for reform
The Luanda Guidelines were adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights during its 55th Ordinary Session in Luanda, Angola from 28 April to 12 May 2014 and are designed to assist States to implement their obligations under the African Charter in the context of arrest, police custody and pre-trial detention. A copy of the Guidelines may be accessed here
Consultation Meeting on Best Practices on Evidence Collection
PALU co-organised a consultation together with the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) and the Open Society Justice Initiative on 20 and 21 August 2014 at the East African Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania. The meeting brought together African NGOs to review and comment on the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s recently developed draft “Best Practices for Evidence Collection”.
Over the first ten years of its existence, ICC has carried out investigations in eight countries in Africa. In each of these countries, multifaceted conflicts have led to mass violations of international law. An interest in international human rights in general, and in criminal accountability as a means of addressing these violations in particular, the ICC is carrying out these investigations in a context in which they are just one of a number of investigators operating in the same area. By the time the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) is able to deploy investigators, it is likely that a number of other actors have already looked into the same events. Therefore the OTP faces an important question as to what extent it can build on these investigations and the implications of seeking, receiving, reviewing and using evidence and materials gathered by third parties. The meeting brought together key stakeholders who discussed how the ICC can engage third party investigators, including NGOs, in such a way as to minimize potential problems and the possibility that parallel investigations will compromise evidence and to maximize the potential of collaboration.
For more information on the meeting you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
RtoP Meeting on International Law
PALU CEO Mr. Donald Deya took part as a panelist in a meeting co-organised by the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect and the Cyrus R. Vance Centre for International Justice. The meeting which took place on 10 September 2014 was held under the theme Preventing & Responding to Atrocities: The Responsibility to Protect, International Law, and the Case of the Central African Republic
. PALU made a presentation on the relationship between RtoP and existing international legal doctrine. Although the RtoP is not a legal commitment, it is grounded in existing international human rights and humanitarian law. What steps have been or are being taken by actors in the international community to hold perpetrators accountable
For more information on the meeting you can contact PALU Secretariat at email@example.com
PALU Conference on the African Court and the African Human Rights System
The Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU), Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and Open Society Foundations held a conference on 9 and 10 October 2014 at Arusha Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania. The Conference was held under the theme “Current Role and Proposed Evolution of the African Court: Keys for a Comprehensive Engagement of the African Human Rights System”
. The Conference will to be held at The Arusha Hotel, on 9 and 10 October 2014.
to read the Concept note.
For more details about the meeting you can visit the event page here
Alternatively you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A detailed report will be availed to you in the near future.
Other meetings PALU took part in:
- Brainstorming on the strategy to speed up Ratification, Accession and Implementation of OAU/AU Treaties of Direct Relevance to Shared Values in Eastern Africa Region, Nairobi, Kenya, 25–26 August 2014
- TLS & IBA Conference: “Mining in Africa: Opportunities and Legal Challenges”, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 8-9 September 2014
- Africa Governance Architecture (AGA) ‘Silencing the Guns’: Youth Building a Culture of Democracy and Peace in Africa, Nairobi, Kenya, 15-16 September 2014
The Ebola Pandemic
PALU sympathizes with the plight of West Africans plagued by the outbreak of the Ebola virus. PALU continues to raise awareness and garner support from Africans throughout the continent in combating the virus. PALU at its recent continental conference on “Current Role and Proposed Evolution of the African Court: Keys for a Comprehensive Engagement of the African Human Rights System” screened a video on the Ebola crises in an attempt to raise awareness and tackle the stigma associated with the virus.
At the 5th Session of the 3rd Pan African Parliament, where PALU representatives were present, the Ebola crisis was addressed, especially the dire consequences it has caused through the isolation of countries affected and called for solidarity and cooperation of African nations to combat this disease. The Parliamentarians also passed a motion in which they requested all African states to increase threefold their financial, logistical and human resources support towards Ebola affected countries; establish a Centre for Disease control and immediately remove all travel bans and restrictions to expedite the movement of all authorised personnel and equipment. They further committed to contributing a significant amount as African parliamentarians towards the relevant funds established.
The African Union Commission has also called for travel bans imposed to be lifted. It has established The African Union support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA) as a contribution to on-going efforts aimed at addressing the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in West Africa. ASEOWA is expected to enhance the capacity of existing national and international response mechanisms through mobilisation of technical expertise, resources, political and financial support. It will complement the efforts of on-going humanitarian assistance and coordinate support provided to the affected member states to augment field response operations. It will also support public awareness and preventive measures across Africa and specifically in the affected region. The AUC has launched a dedicated website to inform the general public about the ASEOWA mission.
For further information you can visit the website at http://pages.au.int/ebola
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NEWS FROM OUR MEMBERS
PALU Member Publishes a New Book
Dr. Mehari Taddele Maru, an active member of PALU, has enabled us access several articles that he has published, on issues pertinent to the social, economic and political situation in Africa.
He has recently published a book entitled: ‘The Kampala Convention and Its Contributions to International Law’ and articles on South Sudan and AU-NATO relations.
With a foreword by Dr. Francis Deng, Ambassador and leading scholar in the field and the Former Under-Secretary General Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, and an introduction by AU former Commissioner of Political Affairs, Mrs Julia Joiner, the book analyses in great depth the provisions of the Kampala Convention in relation to the governance of migration, peace and security and human security in Africa.
You can order a copy of the book here
For a full list of his Articles and more information about him you can visit his web page at http://meharitaddele.info
We welcome PALU members and friends to similarly share with us articles, opinions and other publication that may be of interest to fellow members.
PALU Former President Elected Chairman of the IACC
On October 16 2014, former PALU President Barrister Akere Muna was elected Chairman of the International Anti Corruption Conference (IACC) for a term of 6 years.
The IACC is the world premier forum that brings together heads of state, civil society, the private sector and more to tackle the increasingly sophisticated challenges posed by corruption. The IACC draws attention to corruption by raising awareness and stimulating debate. It fosters the global exchange of experience and methodologies in controlling corruption.
Barrister Muna’s term as PALU President ended in June this year after serving for two terms. Barrister Muna who was also PALU’s first Special Endowment Member. PALU would like to congratulate Barrister Muna on this new achievement. Barrister Muna continues to be an active member of PALU in its activities.
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NEWS FROM OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
Benin Makes Article 34(6) Declaration
On 22 August 2014, Benin deposited the Declaration required under Article 34(6) of the Protocol Establishing the African Court accepting the competence of the Court to receive cases directly from Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) with observer status before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights or individuals.
Article 34(6) of the Protocol provides that ‘at the time of the ratification of this Protocol or any time thereafter, the State shall make a declaration accepting the competence of the Court to receive cases under Article 5(3) of this Protocol. Article 5(3) provides that ‘the Court may entitle relevant Non Governmental organizations (NGOs) with observer status before the Commission, and individuals to institute cases directly before it, in accordance with article 34 (6) of this Protocol.’ The Court shall not receive any petition under Article 5(3) involving a State Party which has not made such a declaration’.
Benin is the eighth African Union Member State to deposit the Declaration, after Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Rwanda and Tanzania.
PALU would like to congratulate Benin on this development to increase access to the African Court and encourages the rest of the African nations to follow suit.
Please click here
for a copy of the Declaration.
Currently only 8 African states including Benin have made the Declaration allowing direct access to the African Court for individuals and CSOs. PALU applauds Benin for making the declaration. PALU further applauds the 7 countries that have made the Declaration. To date, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Rwanda and Tanzania have made the declaration.
SADC Standard Minimum Guidelines for the Treatment and Management of Detainees
Under its human rights programme, the SADC Lawyers' Association (SADCLA)
has produced Southern African Development Community (SADC) Minimum Standards on the Treatment and Management of Detainees ("Guidelines"), which were adopted by the SADCLA Annual General Meeting on 23rd August, 2014 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
These guidelines will apply to the management of detainees in pre-trial detention, awaiting sentence and to those serving sentences following a legally recognized trial through a national court system of a SADC country. Places of detention where such detainees are held include police cells and correctional facilities housing either remand detainees or those serving prison terms. These guidelines will not apply to the management of detainees held in terms of military disciplinary or court martial proceedings or any proceedings outside of the nationally recognized criminal justice delivery system.
The Guidelines are available in the three (3) official languages of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) attached as follows:
Should you have any questions concerning this communication, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Emilia Siwingwa at email@example.com
or on +27 (0)12 366 8861.
The African Court Appoints a New Bureau
At the beginning of the 34th Ordinary Session of the African Court, on 8 September 2014, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights elected a new Bureau for a period of two years.
The incoming Bureau is composed of:
- Honourable Justice Augustino S. L. Ramadhani (President)
- Honourable Lady Justice Elsie N. Thompson (Vice President)
The incoming Bureau replaces Hon. Lady Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo and Hon. Justice Bernard M. Ngoepe, former President and Vice President, respectively, whose terms as Judges of the Court came to an end today 8 September 2014.
On the same day, three newly elected members of the African Court were sworn-in for a six year term. The Judges, elected at the 25th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council and appointed by the 23rd Assembly of Heads of State of the African Union in June 2014 are:
- Hon. Justice Rafaa Ben Achour (Tunisia)
- Hon. Lady Justice Solomy Balungi Bossa (Uganda)
- Hon. Justice Angelo Vasco Matusse (Mozambique)
PALU would like to congratulate the incoming President and Vice-President. PALU would also like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing President and Vice President for the fruitful collaboration we have enjoyed with them. PALU also congratulates incoming Judges and looks forward to continued engagement with the Court and its Judges.
For more information on the elections, you can contact the Registrar of the African Court, Dr. Robert Eno at: Registrar@african-court.org
Boma Ozobia Wins the Order of Nigeria
Former Commonwealth Lawyers Association President Boma Ozobia was awarded the Orders of Nigeria award. Boma Ozobia of Sterling Partnership together with 305 Nigerians and friends of the country were conferred with National Honours’ Awards in various categories on the 29 September 2014.
PALU would like to congratulate Boma Ozibia on this achievement.
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Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Establishment of the UNICTR
The United Nations Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda will be holding its 7th International Prosecutors’ Colloquium on 4-5 November 2014. PALU shall make a presentation entitled “Defence and NGO Perspectives on National Prosecutions of International Crimes
". The Colloquium will be followed by the International Symposium on the Legacy of the ICTR on 6-7 November 2014. Both events will be held in Arusha, Tanzania.
For more information you can visit their website here
. The Prosecutors’ Colloquium will feature updates from and an exchange of best practices among international and national prosecutors.
1st Women in Justice Conference
Intelligence Transfer Centre (ITC) in collaboration with SADC Lawyers Association (SADCLA) is hosting the 1st Annual Women in Justice Conference on 25 and 26 November 2014 at Gallagher Estate in Midrand South Africa. The objective of this platform is to create a dialogue across the African continent on how women can ascend the legal ladder without any gender boundaries standing in their way. Women are exceptional leaders and while both the public and private sector have made provisions for more women to be placed in leadership positions, there’s still a dire need for more decision making appointments. This conference will focus on the personal and professional development of all women working tirelessly to ensure operational justice delivery and equip you with the tools warranted to elevate your state within the justice sector.
For more information on registration you can visit their website here
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ADVERTISEMENTS AND VACANCIES
PALU Jobs/Opportunities Board
For more information on the current vacancies you can visit: http://lawyersofafrica.org/jobs-board
The following vacancies are open:
- President of the Trial Chamber and President of the Appeals Chamber
- State of the Union (SOTU) Coalition Coordinator
- English Reviser P4
- French Reviser P4
- English Reviser P4 – Short Term Position
- French Reviser P4 – Short Term Position
Current opportunities are:
- British Chevening Scholarships for International Students
- UNIL Master’s Grants in Switzerland for Foreign Students
AU ECHO Call for Publications
AU ECHO is calling for articles evidence based articles on the progress that has been achieved in terms of women’s empowerment and development, especially at this time when the continent is in its first year of Agenda 2063. Contributions are being sought from organs and employees of the African Union, governments of member states, women’s organisations and institutions that promote women’s empowerment and development, who want to share their successful experiences as well as some of the challenges faced.
AU ECHO is published in both print and online versions. Its topics are guided by the themes of the summits of the AU. The theme for the African Union summits for 2014 is “Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063.
Submissions opened on 12 September 12 2014 and will close on 10 November 2014.
Languages: Articles for publication should be submitted in any of the AU languages i.e. English, French, Portuguese and Arabic.
For more information visit the African Union website here
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