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July 2013 Newsletter

The Headlines

The following are the news stories featured in this issue:
News from our Members
News from other Organizations
News from our Members

Tunisian Bar Association Elects New Council

Following the election of Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh as new President of the Tunisian National Bar, the Tunisian Bar also announced that it has elected its new Council. The new Council comprises of the following, 2 of which are females:
  • Boubaker Bethabet
  • Ridha Torkhani
  • Abdelaziz Essid
  • Hafedh Briki
  • Hatem Meziou
  • Bechir Chebbi
  • Imed Becheikh Arbi
  • Fakher Gafsi
  • Monia El Abed
  • Omar Khemila
  • Rached Barkache
  • Habib Younsi
  • Sadok Rahmouni
  • Hajer Abdelkafi
Amongst the new Council is PALU member Mr. Rached Barkache. PALU would like to congratulate Mr. Barkache for his election. PALU further congratulates the President and the rest of the Council and look forward to a fruitful collaboration for the development of the legal profession on the continent.

News from other Organizations

Nigeria: NHRC Sets up Committee to Identify Electoral Offenders
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has launched its initiative against electoral impunity in Abuja, Nigeria. On the occasion, the NHRC also unveiled a Technical Working Group (TWG) which is tasked with exposing all electoral fraudsters between 2003 and 2013. The TWG comprises 7 experts & is chaired by renowned Professor of international law, Professor Nsongura Udombana. The TWG is expected to review official government records and make its findings available to the Commission.

Spearheading this initiative with support from Ford Foundation and Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) among others, PALU member, Professor Chidi Anselm Odinkalu, Chairman of the governing Council of NHRC said that Nigeria has remained a country with potential even when some people conspire to steal the people's will.

Prof. Odinkalu also noted that official reports have repeatedly indicated the fact that the possibility to steal votes has not been addressed, adding that if people rely on structures, instead of people's votes to capture power, they will never report back to the people. "There is evidence of those who have done this to us and we are going to start naming names based on official records" the Chairman of the governing council of NHRC said.

Click here for the full article by Dr. Odinkalu.

ECOSOCC Call for Applications

The Commission is calling for applications from African civil society organizations for membership in the 2nd Permanent General Assembly. The closing date for receiving applications is 15 August 2013.

Click here for the application form.

Click here for the ECOSOCC Statutes.

Hissène Habré Indicted in Senegalese Special Court

Hissène Habré, former Chadian Head of State between 1982 and 1990, was indicted for crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture.

Hissène Habré is accused of thousands of political murders and the systematic use of torture while he was in power. In February 2013, the Extraordinary African Chambers within the Senegalese Tribunal was created by Senegal and the African Union to try the crimes committed during the dictatorship. On 30 June 2013, Hissène Habré was remanded in custody by order of the Chambers’ Prosecutor. The investigating Judges charged him following his first appearance on 2 July 2013. He was then indicted and remanded in custody as requested by M. Mbacké Fall, General Prosecutor of the Extraordinary African Chambers.

PALU applauds the Senegalese Tribunal for the indictment and its fights against impunity. PALU also thanks FIDH for the information on the case it has provided which can be found here .

Registration to West Africa Peacebuilding Institute (WAPI) Now Open

The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) in partnership with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) would like to announce the start of admissions to WAPI 2013.
Admission to WAPI is open to practitioners, students, policy makers and civil society members, business community and individuals interested in peacebuilding, processes of dialogue and mediation, conflict analysis and development, cross-border crimes, electoral disputes management, youth and peace education, conflict prevention and gender, natural resource conflict management.

Click here for the call for application.

Click here for the application form.

Please note that the deadline for submission of application document is 12th August, 2013.

The ICC assigns the Comoros, the Hellenic Republic and Cambodia case to Pre-Trial Chamber I

On 5 July 2013, the President of the International Criminal Court (ICC) assigned the Situation on Registered Vessels of the Union of the Comoros, the Hellenic Republic and the Kingdom of Cambodia (the Situation) to Pre-Trial Chamber I. This was a procedural matter only, and did not mark the beginning of an investigation.  
Pre-Trial Chamber I will be responsible for any matter, request or information arising out of the Situation, but will not play a role in determining whether or not an investigation is initiated.

This Situation was referred to the Court earlier this year by the Union of the Comoros, a State Party to the Rome Statute. As this is a State referral, it is the Office of the Prosecutor that decides whether or not to open an ICC investigation, in accordance with the criteria set out in the Rome Statute. The Office of the Prosecutor is conducting a preliminary examination in order to establish whether the criteria for opening an investigation are met.
The ICC is a permanent international court whose primary purpose is to help to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, thus contributing to the prevention of such crimes.

Click here for the referral from Comoros.

Click here for the decision assigning the Situation to Pre-Trial Chamber I

For further information, please contact Sonia Robla, Chief of Public Information Section, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-8089 or 31 (0)6 46448726 or by e-mail at

African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL) Journal of International Law and the AUCIL Year Book
The African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL) has produced its first publications, namely the AUCIL Journal of International Law and the AUCIL Yearbook.

You can download the two publications through the following links:
1. AUCIL Journal of International Law

2. AUCIL Yearbook - 2013
African Court Holds a Sensitization Mission in Kenya

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Court) organised a sensitization mission in Nairobi, Republic of Kenya, from 15 to 17 July 2013. The objectives of the mission was to enhance human rights protection in Kenya through raising awareness of the Court, its functions, its jurisdiction and procedures before it, and to hold discussions with various Government officials in Kenya, with a view to encouraging the Government to make the Declaration allowing individuals and NGOs direct access to the Court.

For more information you can contact Grace Kakai Wakio at

Roundtable on Financing Africa's Infrastructure Held in Tunis

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, Dr Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank Group convened in Tunis their regular coordination session.

The main objective of the Roundtable was to discuss and find solutions to scaling up financing of infrastructure in line with Africa’s vision for the next 50 years. The Roundtable aimed at rationalizing approaches and foster synergies so as to optimize the impact of the various initiatives within a collective and coordinated framework as well as to strengthen partnerships to accelerate the delivery of Africa’s transformation agenda.

Click here for the Communiqué adopted.
Admissions to MA in Human Rights at the University of Nairobi Now Open

The University of Nairobi is now offering an MA in Human Rights. Click here for more information on registration and admissibility.

Alternatively you can contact the Coordinator of the programe Dr. J.B Ndohvu at and
ICC Prosecutor: Attacks against peacekeepers may constitute war crimes

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda condemns the killing of seven United Nations (UN) peacekeepers from Tanzania and the wounding of 17 military and police personnel of the African Union—United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) on 13 July in South Darfur. A recent attack left seven UN peacekeepers from Tanzania dead and another 17 military and police personnel of the African Union/UN Hybrid Operations in Darfur (UNAMID) wounded. In her statement, Prosecutor Bensouda further warned that ICC "will not hesitate to prosecute those alleged to have committed such war crimes." The Prosecutor reminds all parties to the conflict that the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction in Darfur pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1593 and that the intentional directing of attacks against peacekeepers may constitute war crimes. The Office will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute those alleged to have committed such crimes should the national authorities fail to. The Prosecutor calls on the Government of Sudan to carry out a prompt and full investigation and to hold all those responsible to account. The latest incident brings the total number of UNAMID peacekeepers killed since 2007 to 54.

Click here to be redirected to the ICC website for more information.

African Court Coalition (ACC) Advocacy Mission in Kenya

In realization of its mission to see an effective African Court, the ACC undertook an advocacy mission in Kenya on 25 July 2013.

The objective of the Mission was to discuss the developments of the African Court and highlight the importance of States’ deposition of the Declaration under Article 34(6) as proposed by the Protocol Establishing the African Court in terms of access to justice for human rights violations and human rights victims.

For more information you can contact Sophia Ebby at

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