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December 2013 Newsletter
*Une version française vous sera envoyée sous peu. | *A French version shall follow shortly

The Headlines

The following are the news stories featured in this issue:

Secretariat News
News from our Members
News from other Organizations
Advertisements And Vacancies

IBA Seminar on Best Practices in Bar Organizations

PALU took part in a Seminar that was convened collaboratively by the Ethiopian Lawyers Association (ELA), the International Bar Associations (IBA)'s Law Firm Management Committee, the IBA’s African Regional Forum (AfrIBA) and the IBA’s Bar Issues Committee (BIC). The Seminar, which was held in Addis on 9 November 2013, was on the theme "Best Practices in Bar Organization and Government Relations". The participants reflected on the need to focus on making it a priority to work towards the creation of an enabling environment for the establishment of law firms. Various ideas were generated as a result of the conference with the hope that they will be converted to some kind of event or activity.

For more information you can email us at

Judicial Dialogue between the African Court and National Judiciaries

PALU took part in the opening ceremony of the Judicial Dialogue between the African Court and National Judiciaries. The event, organized by the African Court and the German International Cooperation (GIZ), took place from 18 to 20 December 2013 at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC). The Seminar brought together Chief Justices/Presidents of Supreme and Constitutional Courts and other representatives of national jurisdictions of African Union Member States as well as Members of African Regional Courts and Tribunals, as well as Members of continental institutions comprising the African Human Rights System.

During the 3-day seminar, participants discussed the African Human Rights System and the interactions between national, regional and international courts. They also discussed issues such as the principles of subsidiarity and complementarity, the exhaustion of local remedies and referrals for interpretation, as well as procedures and practices in application of continental and regional human rights instruments by national courts.

Click here for the key note speech of the Hon. Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania.

Click here for the opening statement by the President of the African Court.

For more information you can visit the Court's website here.

Public hearing in the matter of Peter J. Chacha v. Tanzania

At the African Court’s 31st Ordinary Session, held from 26 November to 6 December 2013, the Court held a public hearing in the matter of Peter J. Chacha v. United Republic of Tanzania. The Applicant, Mr. Peter Joseph Chacha, alleged that he was unlawfully arrested, detained, charged and  imprisoned contrary to Sections 13(1) (a) and (b) and 13 (3) (a), (b) and (c) of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA), Chapter 20 of the Laws of the United Republic of Tanzania. According to the Applicant, his unlawful arrest, detention and imprisonment in relation to a criminal case also violated his right under Article 15 (1) and (2) (a) of the Constitution of The United Republic Tanzania. According to Mr. Chacha, the police unlawfully seized his property which is a violation of his right to own and protect property. He explained that he had followed up with Government agencies and even filed a case which is yet to be heard.

The Respondent raised a preliminary objection regarding the jurisdiction ratione materiae. The Respondent contended that the subject matter of the Application does not relate to neither the application and interpretation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights nor the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court or any other relevant human rights instrument ratified by the United Republic of Tanzania as required by Article 3 (1) of the Protocol and Rule 26 of the Rules of Court. Rather, the application is based on the Constitution of Tanzania as well as national legislation, such as the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) on which the Court cannot adjudicate.

The Respondent further refuted the merits of the application concerning violation of the right to personal freedom and to own property as Mr. Chacha had been lawfully arrested and charged with armed robbery and murder. His property in turn was legally searched and seized in accordance with Section 38 of the CPA pending the finalization of the criminal cases against him.

The Applicant was represented by the Pan African Lawyers Union while the Respondent was represented by Counsels from the Attorney General’s Chambers and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Click here for the case summary containing detailed information about the case.

Alternatively you can contact us at

407th Meeting of the Peace and Security Council

PALU took part in the 407th Peace and Security Council (PSC) open session which took place on 4 December 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The specific objectives of the meeting were to:
  1. Launch the AU Gender Training Manual for AU PSO by the PSC;
  2. Brief  the  PSC,  all  AU  Member  States,  Development  Partners  and  others  stakeholders  and actors,  on  the  Modules  of  the  Manual  especially  Modules  4  and  5  related  to  Gender  and Peace Support Operations.

10th Anniversary Celebration of the AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption

PALU took part in the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AU-ABC) celebration of the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption from 5 to 9 December 2013 at the AICC in Arusha, Tanzania. The meeting was held under the theme "Making Corruption Unattractive in Africa". One of the main topics under discussion was the Role of Parliament in Harmonizing and Domesticating the AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.

For more information, you can contact Wadzanai Nhongo at

Civil Society Letter to CPTA: Right to Reparation

On 9 December 2013,  twenty-one Organizations including civil society organizations providing medical, psychological and / or legal assistance to, and advocating for the rights of victims of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (‘ill-treatment’) throughout Africa pledged their support to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA). The Organizations are working to ensure that victims’ needs and rights are adequately addressed and implemented at national and (sub-) regional level and look forward to their continued collaboration with and support for the CPTA in its work on the rights of victims, including their right to adequate reparation as reflected in part III of the Robben Island Guidelines.

The CPTA in particular has a crucial role to play in strengthening the rights of victims of torture and ill-treatment in Africa and in providing advice and technical support to national actors on the implementation of the Robben Island Guidelines.

The organizations also outlined an initiative on the right to reparation for victims of torture in Africa.

Click here to read the letter pledging their support.

Other meetings PALU took Part in

We would like to thank the organisers of the meetings below which we took part in:
  • African Court Continental Conference for the Media (Arusha, Tanzania);
  • Refugee Law Project: Working Meeting on an SGBV Communication to the AComHPR. (Kampala, Uganda);
  • Civil Society Forum on EAC Integration, theme of meeting: “The Role of CSOs in Strengthening East African Regional Integration”. Speaking topic: “Use of Natural Resources to Strengthen EAC Integration” (Arusha, Tanzania);
  • 2nd Annual High-level Consultation on Governance and Democracy in Africa: Trends, Challenges and Prospects themed “Enhancing Constitutionalism and Rule of Law in Africa” (Dakar, Senekal);
  • 15th European Union (EU) NGO Forum on Human Rights (Brussels, Belgium);
  • Conférence Internationale des Barreaux (CIB; International Conference of Francophone Bar Associations), 28th Annual Convention;
  • Consultation Workshop on the African Union Agenda 2063, held from 11-13 December 2013 (Yaoundé, Cameroon).
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Opening of the Tunisia Legal year 2013-2014

The Tunisian Bar Association will be opening its legal year 2013-2014 on 17 January 2014.

For details on how to attend you can contact the President Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh at

Kinshasa Bar Association (Gombe) holds its AGM

The KBA held itS AGM on 23 November 2013 at the Conference room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For more information you can visit their website here.

Professor Vincent O. Nmehielle appointed the Legal Counsel of the African Union
PALU heartily congratulates its member, Professor Vincent O. Nmehielle, who was appointed Legal Counsel and Director of the Office of the Legal Counsel of the African Union. Prof. Nmehielle has been a strong supporter of PALU and a member since 2011.

Prof. Nmehielle has over 21 years of professional and academic experience. Prior to his appointment to the AU, he was the Head of the Wits Programme in Law, Justice and Development in Africa at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) School of Law, Johannesburg, South Africa where he has taught since February 2002. He is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Between 2002 and 2004, he held the Bram Fischer Chair in Human Rights Law at Wits Law School. In 2003 and 2004, he was a Professorial Lecturer in Law at the Oxford University and George Washington University Human Rights Program. From 2005 to 2008, Prof. Nmehielle served as the Principal Defender of the United Nations-Backed Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He returned to Wits in June 2008. He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Nigeria; a Master of Laws degree in International Law from the University of Notre Dame, USA; and a Doctor of Juridical Science Degree in International and Comparative Law from the George Washington University in Washington, DC. Prof. Nmehielle’s enduring professional, academic and research interest – and in which areas he has advised and assisted PALU – is in the area of Law, Governance, Justice and Development in Africa.

We at PALU congratulate Prof. Nmehielle, wish him success, and assure him of our full support for his office, and for the African Union in general.

We also take this opportunity to appreciate the previous Legal Counsel, Hon. Ben Kioko, who, upon his retirement from the position, was elected Judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. We further appreciate the Deputy Legal Counsel, Ms. Djenneba Diara, who held fort as Acting Legal Counsel for the last year and a half, and who has made significant contributions to the AU and to rule of law in her own right.    

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Harassment of Human Rights observers in Kinshasa

Employees of the Committee of Observers of Human Rights (CODHO) have been subjected to harassment by security officers in Kinshasa. Mr. Anelia Kanisa, Mr. Mukambile Anicet and Ms. Bahani N.L Justine, in the line of their work often visit the prisoners, victims of torture, as well as those sentenced to death, requiring almost constant monitoring. During a routine visit to victims of torture at the Central Makala prison in Kinshasa, the above mentioned left their personal belongings with security as the rules require. It is believed that the security officers without their consent went through their personal belongings and obtained sensitive information which could constitute as a threat to CODHO and its members. This is a case of major concern because some Human Rights activists have even lost their lives in the course of their work, Mr. Chebeya being an example. CODHO calls upon CSOs and NGOs to condemn such acts of harassment as it is affecting the quality of their work with activists living in fear for their safety.

Click here for the press release.
Click here for the background information by CODHO
Click here for CODHO’s Press release on the World day against the death penalty.

Republic of Burundi Sued Before the EACJ over Arrest and Detention of Citizen

The Republic of Burundi was sued before the East Africa Court of Justice (EACJ) for the alleged unlawful detention of a citizen.The case was filed by Prof. Francois Nyamoya represented by Mr. Richard Onsongo.  Prof. Nyamoya, a Burundi national was arrested and detained by the government of Burundi for tempering with the investigation of the murder of Dr. Kassy Manlan who was assassinated in 2003.

Appearing before the Court, Mr. Onsongo, Counsel submitted that all the three arms of the government of Burundi (Executive, Legislative and Judicially) all came together to deny Prof. Nyamoyo his freedom of movement which is to date limited as he cannot even leave Burundi if he wishes to do so.

For more details on the case click here.

UN Rights Office Hails Adoption of African-led Resolution on People with Albinism

The African Commission adopted its first-ever resolution on people with albinism. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHC) welcomed the decision and urged all African States to take action to protect and ensure that the rights of these often mistreated people are not abused.
The UNOHC applauded the resolution, but said that they remain deeply concerned about the overall situation of people with albinism. It highlighted the fact that the office continues to receive alarming reports on attacks and discrimination against albinos especially in countries such as Malawi and Tanzania.

Click here for the full text of the resolution.

The African Court holds a public hearing in the Norbert Zongo Case

During its 31st Ordinary Session, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights also held a public hearing in the Norbert Zongo case (Application No. 013/2011) on 28 and 29 November 2013. The case filed by the beneficiaries of the late Norbert Zongo, Abdoulaye Nikiema alias Ablassé, Ernest Zongo, Blaise Ilboudo, and the Burkinabe Movement for Human and Peoples' Rights (Applicants) was against the Republic of Burkina Faso (Respondent).

The matter relates to the assassination of Mr. Norbert Zongo, an investigative journalist and his companions, Abdoulaye Nikiema alias Ablassé, Ernest Zongo and Blaise Ilboudo. The Applicants allege a violation of Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Articles  2 (3), 14 and 19 (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, etc. by the Republic of Burkina Faso.

The Applicants were represented by Mr. Chidi Anselm Odinkalu and Ibrahima Kané, while the Respondent was represented by lawyers from the Government of the Republic of Burkina Faso.

IRRI Merges with the Fahamu Refugee Programme

The International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) merged with the Fahamu Refugee Programme ( With this merger, IRRI brings on board two committed and knowledgeable staff, Themba Lewis, former Co-Director of Fahamu, and Adrian Henderson, the Co-ordinator of the Southern Refugee Legal Aid Network (SRLAN). Barbara Harrell-Bond, Co-Director and Founder of Fahamu will continue to be engaged in an advisory capacity.
The merger will reinforce IRRI’s capacity to address refugee rights issues which have been at the core of the Organisation’s mission since its inception.

PALU would like to congratulate IRRI and Fahamu on this positive advancement.
For more information you can contact Dismas Nkunda at:

Adoption of a Resolution on the Central African Republic

The Security Council (SC) adopted a resolution authorising an African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic. The AU peacekeeping force is known by its French acronym MISCA.  A UN trust fund to support it was also authorized as well as the deployment of French troops to assist MISCA and a sanctions regime.

Since the Séléka rebels took up arms against the government last December, culminating in the 24 March 2013 ousting of President François Bozize, the political and security situation in the CAR has remained highly volatile and unpredictable.

Click here for the full text of the resolution.

For background information you can click here.

African Court Coalition Stakeholders Roundtable Discussion

The Coalition for an Effective African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACC) and its Southern Africa Focal Point, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum organized a Roundtable Discussion under the theme “Reflecting on Collaboration between the African Court and Sub-regional Courts in line with the Extension of the African Court Jurisdiction to Criminal Matters”. The Roundtable discussion was held on 7 December 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania.
The Discussions focused on the avenues of collaboration between the African Court having criminal jurisdiction in a fight against. Discussions were also held on the complementarity of the African Court and Sub-regional Courts.

For more information you can contact Sophia Ebby at:

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Human Security First – Sustainable Peace for Development—Call for Videos

The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict and IKV Pax Christi are seeking video messages for their campaign Human Security First-Sustainable Peace for Development. One aspect of the campaign is that it provides a platform to allow for voices from civil society to be heard. So far they have collected videos about human security in Burma, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Fiji. Many more are currently being developed.

They are hoping to receive videos that contain a strong, convincing, personal story on a specific subject painting a picture of how a lack of human security affects people’s lives. The videos will help the viewer realize the importance of human security and of an international campaign that tries to convince the UN to put human security first.

To view videos already received you can visit their website here.

For video specifications you can contact Simone Steuns at

Available Positions at iCourts

iCourts, is a Danish National Research Foundation's Centre of Excellence for International Courts, which is dedicated to the study of international courts, their role in a globalizing legal order and their impact on politics and society.

iCourts currently has a PHD fellow position available. For more information you can visit their website here.

Application deadline is 23 January 2014.

Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

The Obama Administration’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders. Nearly one in three Africans are between the ages of 10 and 24, and approximately 60 per cent of Africa’s total population is below the age of 35.  President Obama launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. YALI participants have leveraged this support and gone on to start youth-driven organizations and networks, advise their governments, and establish new and vibrant businesses all showcasing the extraordinary talent and promise of the young leaders who are transforming the African continent and their communities.

For details on how to apply you can visit their website here.

Oxfam Job - Policy Advisor- Extractive Industries, Addis Ababa

Oxfam has a vacancy for Policy Advisor in extractive industries. This post will be part of the Oxfam International (OI) Secretariat Advocacy and Campaigns team and will be based within a dynamic and committed team of Oxfam International’s Liaison Office with the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

To view the job description click here.

Alternatively please go to the Oxfam International Website here.

Vacancy of AU Head of Division, Coordination and Outreach

The Commission of the African Union is calling for applications for the post of Head Coordination and Outreach Division. The successful candidate will be reporting to the Director of Women, Gender and Development.

The deadline for application is 18 January 2014.

Click here for more details of the post and how to apply.

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