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July 2016 Newsletter
*Une version française vous sera envoyée sous peu. | *A French version shall follow shortly

The Headlines


This Month's Topic of Discussion is on:
#DefendtheDefenders #LawyersAtRisk #StopExtraJudicialKillings


How can lawyers be protected when carrying out their duties especially when representing sensitive cases?

Share with us your views on our online discussion group at: http://lawyersofafrica.org/groups/discussion-topics/forum/

The following are the news stories featured in this issue:

Secretariat News

News from Our Members

News from Other Organizations

 
SECRETARIAT NEWS

SAVE THE DATE for PALU’s Upcoming Annual Conference 13 -15  October 2016



PALU Expresses Solidarity with LSK and EALS Concerning Murder of an Advocate

PALU joins the Law Society of Kenya and East Africa Law Society in condemning the senseless killings of their member, the late Mr Willie Kimani, Advocate; killed together with his client Mr Josephat Mwenda and cab driver Mr Joseph Muiruri.

The incidence of an advocate being kidnapped in the course of duty shows disrespect for the important work of human rights defenders and the entire civil society space. PALU further highlights the calls for this sad incident to herald a turning point for the Government, the Police Service, the legal profession and the people of Kenya to undertake urgent institutional reforms to address the culture of impunity within the Police Service, as is required by the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and the ‘Agenda 4’ reforms emanating from the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation (KNDR) process of 2008.

Lawyers in Nairobi took to the streets in a solidarity march in honor of the slain human rights lawyer. Condolences received from other law organizations, legal professionals and practioners, and worldwide leaders echoed PALU’s emphasis on respect for human rights’ defense. Kenyans further expressed their outcry through twitter using the hashtag #StopExtraJudicialKillings.

Read here for more information in a special bulletin by PALU.

PALU Participates in the Artwatch Response System workshop

Arterial Network, a Pan African Civil Society for Arts and Culture through its Artwatch Africa project organized a workshop on 3-5 July 2016 in Arusha, Tanzania. The objective of this session was to learn more about the needs of artists and explore more efficient and concrete collaboration with the Human Rights organizations and legal structures at regional level. All this was in a bid to improve the project’s support to artists at risk. Participants were drawn from PALU, the Institute of Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA), the organization Fahamu-Pambazuka and the Swedish Foundation for Human Rights. PALU was represented by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Donald Deya (Advocate) who shared with the participants an insight on International and Regional Human Rights Protection Mechanisms across United Nations (UN), African Union (AU) and Sub-Regional Organizations. Ms Evelyn Chijarira, a Programme Officer at PALU, presented on the African court and how to lodge an Application, what to think of and consider.

Click here to read more on the workshop.

PALU Takes Part in a Prevention Up Front Meeting

PALU participated in a meeting on Prevention Up Front organized by the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) and the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP), from 20-22 April that was held in in Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting was locally coordinated by the Nairobi Peace Initiative Africa (NPI-Africa).

Prevention Up Front aims to build the capacity of civil society actors to influence intergovernmental and regional organizations, state actors, civil society and other conflict stakeholders to create, improve, and implement conflict prevention mechanisms and norms, in ways that are locally grounded and inclusive. The alliance is undertaking activities to clearly deepen situation understanding towards development of contextual actions.  

Click here to read more.

PALU Participates in Two Pre – African Union Summit Meetings on Gender

PALU attended two Pre - African Union (AU) Summit Meetings on Gender, in Kigali, Rwanda: the 3rd High Level Panel on Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) from 8-9 July 2016, and the 28th Gender Is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) Meeting on 10-11 July 2016.

The GEWE meeting was on “The Contributions of Maputo Protocol on Women’s Rights in Achieving Gender Equality in Africa: Stocktaking, Opportunities and Accountability”. Participants were drawn from the Ministries of Gender from several African countries, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) representatives, and African Union (AU) officials. Key speeches were from the AUC Chairperson, Dr. Dlamini Zuma; the Director of the AU Department of Political Affairs, Dr. Khabele Matlosa; the Minister for Gender and Family Promotion of the Republic of Rwanda, Dr. Diane Gashumba; and the AU Special Envoy Women, Peace and Security & President Femmes Afrique Solidarite (FAS), Mrs. Bineta Diop.

Panel discussions were on “Contributions of Maputo Protocol on Women’s Rights in Achieving Gender Equality in Africa: From Maputo Protocol to Agenda 2063”; “Financing and Accountability for Gender Equality”; “Rights Mechanisms, Human Rights Defenders and Civil Society” and the Launch of the “Report on the Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security”.

The GIMAC meeting chose to target its discussions on “Implementing Women’s Rights in Africa: If not now, when?” Participants were basically CSOs representatives, coming from all over Africa, defending the gender agenda. Among others, FEMNET, Oxfam, Make Every Woman Count, Femmes Africa Solidarités, Women and Girls for Peace and Security in Burundi, Women’s International Cross Cultural Exchange, Africa Leadership Forum, UN Women and African Centre for Democracy and Rights Studies. Discussions focused mostly around “Accountability for Women’s Rights in Africa”, “Young Women’s Leadership and Women’s Rights in Africa”, ”Sexual and Reproductive Health”, “Women, Peace and Security in Africa” and “Women’s Economic Empowerment”.

During these two days, Make Every Woman Count launched its Mid Term Review for the African Women decade 2010-2020, and GIMAC launched its Handbook.

Click here for more info on GIMAC and here for  information on the African Union Women,Gender & Development.

PALU Launches the Second Edition of the PAYL


The Pan African Lawyers Union is proud to present to you its second edition of The Pan-African Yearbook of Law (PAYL).

This edition, which will feature article from our esteemed members and partners, which will be published electronically. The first article, entitled “Expanding Access To Justice For Victims Of Pretrial Injustice: Reflections On The Decision In Sikiru Alade V Nigeria, written by Stanley Ibe, is currently available.

Click here  for more information.






African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights AfCHPR Delivers Judgment on PALU Cases

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) delivered Judgment on two of PALU’s major cases namely Application 007 of 2013: Mohamed Abubakari vs. United Republic of Tanzania and Application No. 006 of 2013: Wilfred Onyango Nganyi and Others vs. The United Republic of Tanzania.

PALU represented the Applicant’s on a pro bono basis under the African Court’s Legal Aid Scheme.

Click here for more information on Application 007 of 2013 and here on Application No. 006 of 2013.


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NEWS FROM OUR MEMBERS

PALU Re-Launches Online Membership Directory

PALU is proud to announce to our members and stakeholders to our work that we have launched our premier continental membership networking platform which will be an excellent space for our members to showcase their work and awards as well as have unprecedented access to a broad network of distinguished African legal dignitaries, decision-makers, professionals and scholars. Members will also be able to participate in our online discussions through the discussion forums and groups on different legal topics and committees.

To join our membership directory today, visit http://lawyersofafrica.org/join-palu/ and contact us at secretariat@Lawyersofafrica.org should you require for further clarification or assistance.

PALU Congratulates New Members

PALU takes this opportunity to introduce and honor our new members who are distinguished legal and human rights professionals who are passionate and who have pledged to stand with us in advocating for a united, just and prosperous Africa, built on the rule of law and good governance.
Members’ Profile Highlights

We take this opportunity to highlight the work that our members have shared with us via their online membership profiles’ publications as follows:
PALU encourages all our members to constantly update their membership profiles so that they can also get featured in the month’s members’ profile highlights.  

Egyptian Lawyers Syndicate Express Dissatisfaction with Officials’ Leadership

Sameh Ashour, on being re-elected to head the Lawyers' Syndicate General Assembly, which showed the renewal of confidence in him and his council, has apologized to the journalists who were assaulted or insulted during the elections, where they received 9,974 votes from members, while 3,080 voted to withdraw confidence.

The vote was scheduled after hundreds of lawyers demanded the ouster of Ashour, with Lawyer Montaser Al-Zayat telling Daily News Egypt that "the elections were illegal. Ashour was directing the lawyers in the south, especially in the Upper Egypt governorates. However, votes against him were high in Helwan, Alexandria, South Cairo, and South Giza.”

Referring to the chaos that ensued during the elections, Ashour demanded an immediate investigation into the incidents, Requesting all journalists to submit videos showing moments of assault in order to identify the perpetrators.

TLS Issues a Statement on Illegal Arrest of Advocate Shilinde Ngalula

On 22 July 2016, Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) issued a statement following the arrest of Advocate Shilinde Ngalula (hereinafter Mr. Ngalula).

Mr. Ngalula was temporarily detained and questioned while undertaking his duties as an Advocate in Loliondo District whilst representing his client.He was detained and questioned regarding allegations of community incitement and espionage.

PALU will continue to stand  in solidarity with TLS  and all advocates in Tanzania, and through its #DefendtheDefenders program will continue to work vigorously, to call for an end to attacks against lawyers and human rights defenders in the course of  their duty.

Click here for more information and to read the full statement.

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NEWS FROM OTHER ORGANIZATIONS

AUC’s Chairperson Elections Postponed Till Next Year 27 January 2017

The elections for a new chairperson for the African Union Commission was postponed to 27 January 2017. This  was after all three contestants failed to attain the two thirds majority that is expected for one to be declared a winner and take over from Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who is from South Africa. Candidates for this position were Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, former Ugandan vice president, Pelonomi Venson Moitoi, Botswana Foreign Minister, and Agapito Mba Mokuy, Equatorial Guinea Foreign Minister.

Following the failure to find a replacement for her, Dr Zuma, officially accepted to carry on her role till a new successor is selected during the next AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Read the press release here.

Dolika Banda Appointed CEO, African Risk Capacity Insurance Company Limited (ARC LTD)

The African Risk Capacity Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd) has appointed former International Finance Corporation (IFC) Director, Ms Dolika Banda, as Chief Executive Officer, effective from 7 September 2016.

Taking the reins from Dr Simon Young, Ms Banda, a Zambian advisor and advisor with 25 years of international banking and financial management experience focusing on economic development in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and The Caribbean, notable among them being 16 years' experience with the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation, in addition to being Regional Director for Africa at the UK’s Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), senior corporate and merchant banking positions at Barclays and Citibank in Zambia, among others.

She will head a private-public Specialized Agency of the African Union, goal of insuring 30 countries by 2020 for $1.5bn, helping to protect 150 million vulnerable Africans, with a current coverage of seven countries, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Kenya, The Gambia, Mali and Malawi; targeting to cover up to nine countries for drought risk and is also offering parametric tropical cyclone cover to four countries in the South West Indian Ocean: Mauritius, Comoros, Mozambique and Madagascar.
Dr Young, and Dr Lars Thunell, Chairman of the ARC Ltd Board of Directors, welcomed the incoming CEO, praising her for her incomparable experience across the continent, encompassing both the private and the public sectors, and wished her success in her new role.PALU also congratulates her for new appointment and wishes her the best as she continues to make valuable contribution in promoting economic development.

Read more here about this story.

AU Summit Convenes to Discuss Continental Burning Issues

This year’s African Union (AU) Summit was held in Kigali Convention Centre in Rwanda from 10 to 18 July 2016. According to the agenda, the African Union (AU) Passport was launched during this 27th AU Summit. The theme for this year’s summit is ”2016: African Year of Human rights with particular focus on the Rights of Women”.

The Heads of State and Government considered the report of the 29th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council including the report of the Commission on the implementation of previous Decisions of the Assembly. The summit embraced the initiative to have a pan-African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention which had previously been proposed by Ethiopia, and approved by the AU Commission in 2013 at the 22nd ordinary session in Abuja, Nigeria. Its goal will be to combat pandemics such as HIV-AIDS, Malaria, Ebola virus and the the Zika virus.

The forum also hopes to Improve knowledge and understanding of Agenda 2063, 10-year implementation plan, and its flagship; Identify strategies for improved citizen participation and contribution to the implementation of the Pan African Agenda; Establish an accountability mechanism based on the Agenda 2063 Monitoring and Evaluation Framework; and Reinforce the strategic partnerships between the AU, TAEF, as critical stakeholders in the media industry.

Click here to read the AU’s press release.

Read More here.

Former EALA Speaker Challenges Her Removal from Office

The former embattled speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Ms Margaret Zziwa, has challenged her removal from office stating it as illegal. Dr Zziwa was removed from her office on 19 December 2014  following a motion that had been passed in November barring her from performing her duties as a speaker. The motion contended that she was unable to perform the functions for her office arising from misconduct, poor governance and leadership skills; abuse of office; unilateral decision making; disrespect and intimidation of members and staff; and loss of confidence and trust by members and staff. Her removal was endorsed by two-thirds of the elected members in the house. She was replaced by Daniel Kidega who is also from Uganda.

During the hearing of her case at the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), she pointed out that her removal also infringed Article 53 and 56, of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community(EAC).

Dr Zziwa is a member of  the regional Assembly and was elected EALA Speaker in June 2012.

Read more here.

 
For more information on the current vacancies from our members and networks you can visit our PALU Jobs/Opportunities Board at http://lawyersofafrica.org/jobs-board
 
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