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February 2014 Newsletter

The Headlines

The following are the news stories featured in this issue:
Secretariat News
News from Our Members
News from Other Organizations
Upcoming Events
Advertisements And Vacancies

PALU takes Part in a Series of Civil Society Advocacy Meetings

From Non-Interference to Non-Indifference: Reflections

PALU, the Stanley Foundation and the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP) held meeting under the theme: “From Non-Interference to Non-Indifference: Reflecting on an Article 4(h) Agenda at the African Union”. The discussions took place on January 23 alongside the sidelines of the 22nd African Union (AU). The aim was to reflect on the implementation of both Article 4(h) and Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) on the Continent in the protection of civilians from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. Participants included civil society organisations (CSOs) working with AU Member States and those working at the Pan African level. Participants in their discussions shared information and experiences on how they are engaging with African governments and intergovernmental organizations on issues of RtoP and mass atrocity prevention generally.

Click here to read more info from the concept note and programme for the event.

Click below to watch respective videos of the event:
  1. Part I – A view from Africa: Building State Capacity to Prevent Mass Atrocities
  2. Part II – A view from Africa: Building State Capacity to Prevent Mass Atrocities
  3. Part III – A view from Africa: Building State Capacity to Prevent Mass Atrocities
  4. Part IV – A view from Africa: Building State Capacity to Prevent Mass Atrocities
See more at:

Furthermore, PALU, Afrimap-OSI, CCPAU, Oxfam and SOTU held a CSO meeting and thereafter a press-briefing, on CSOs Engagement with AU Organs and Institutions. These events focused mainly on the engagement of CSOs with the ECOSSOCC-AU, the African Advisory Board on Corruption and the Pan African Parliament.

Click here to view the concept note.

AU 22nd Summit

The AU held its 22nd Ordinary Summit from 21-31 January 2014 at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was held under the theme, ‘Agriculture and Food Security’.

To view the decisions of the Summit click here for Arabic, here for English, here for French and here for Portuguese.

PALU Launches Job Board

We are pleased to inform you that we have launched a jobs board on our website. Our partners, members and subscribers have been increasingly forwarding new vacancies to us. In order to ensure that all jobs are circulated, we created the jobs boards which contains full details on how to apply and deadlines.

Currently there are vacancies with the following organisations:
  • Open Society Justice Initiative;
  • African Legal Support Facility;
  • Impunity Watch;
  • Microsoft / Regenesys Business School;
  • South African-German Centre for Transitional Criminal Justice;
  • International Lawyers for Africa (ILFA);
  • East African Legislative Assembly;
  • East African Court of Justice;
  • Constitutional Court of South Africa;
  • The Christensen Fund;
  • Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa(CODESRIA);
  • African Union.
For more information you can visit the jobs board at:

PALU Engages with FCO in the Fight against SGBV Crimes

PALU recently started working with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in its fights against lack of accountability of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) crimes. Sexual violence is one of the most heinous crimes occurring both during war time and during peace. It is also one of the most neglected injustices. SGBV crimes which are often used as weapons of war affect not only the victim but society as a whole.

The FCO has drafted a Protocol to fight sexual violence against both men and women. PALU has been engaging with the FCO as part of the team of experts that are reviewing the draft Protocol before it is launched.

PALU is proud to be an active advocator in the fight against SGBV crimes. PALU applauds all those that are working to stop these outrageous crimes. SGBV crimes are not inevitable and any shortfalls in their prosecution encourage a culture of impunity.

PALU calls upon the African continent and those beyond to join the fight to halt this unfortunate tragedy which is not inevitable and can be stopped.

PALU and SADC LA hold Interactive Dialogue Meeting

PALU in collaboration with SADC Lawyers’ Association (SADC LA) held an interactive dialogue meeting on 26 February 2014. The session was held under the theme: ‘African Law & the Legal Profession: The Role & Value of Regional Lawyers Associations’.

It introduced the projects and professional services of PALU and SADC LA to the legal community of Johannesburg and Pretoria including the benefits and opportunities these bring to the individual lawyers.

For more details on how to get PALU membership as well as its benefits you can visit:

For more information on the meeting you can contact us at: .

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Feature: PALU Member Opens Law Firm

PALU member, Ms. Maureen Kondowe opened a law firm based in Lilongwe, Malawi specialising in International Trade Law.  Ms. Kondowe has been an active member of PALU and engaged with PALU on its International Commercial Law project.

About Maureen Kondowe:
Maureen Kondowe attained an LL.M. in International Trade Law at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom in 2000. Her main area of focus is commercial law with particular emphasis on both domestic and international contracts for the sale of goods, domestic and international contracts for the carriage of goods, trade finance law, and international commercial arbitration.

She is a former Vice President and Honorary Secretary of the Malawi Law Society. Before that, she was a Law Reform Officer for the Malawi Law Commission and an Assistant Lecturer in Law at the University of Malawi. She has also worked for the Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Education Trust (WLSA) Malawi Chapter, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and SADC Lawyers Association.  She recently participated in the Legal Forum on China-Africa Cooperation where she presented a paper that analyses the perceived legal barriers to China-Africa Investment Cooperation. She has also contributed a chapter to a book entitled "In Search of Equality: Women, Society and the Law" which will be published in early 2014. She is a member of the Pan African Lawyers Union, Malawi Law Society, and the SADC Lawyers Association. She currently serves as an Executive Committee Member of SADC Lawyers Association.

You can contact Ms. Kondowe at

PALU would like to congratulate Ms. Kondowe on this achievement and encourages its subscribers in Malawi to utilize Ms. Kondowe’s law firm especially when it concerns her area of speciality.

The Sahrawi Republic Ratifies the African Court Protocol

The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (Sahrawi Republic) ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Court Protocol) on 27 November 2013. During the last AU Summit on 27 January 2014, Sahrawi Republic deposited the instrument of ratification. Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic became the 27th State Party to the African Court Protocol.

Sahrawi Republic also made the following deposits:
  • Deposited their instrument of ratification for the Anti-Corruption Convention;
  • Deposited their instrument of ratification for ACDEG;
  • Deposited their instrument of ratification for the Kampala Convention on the rights of Internally Displaced Persons.  
PALU would like to congratulate Sahrawi Republic on these recent developments which encourage access to justice mechanisms at the regional level. PALU also encourages other African states to follow suit.

Bar Association of Oran Elects New President

Advocate Lahouari Ouahrani was unanimously elected President of the Oran Bar Association. He was elected for three years from 9 February 2014 until 8 February 2017.

Click here for the official notice from the Oran Bar Association. (Only available in French)

PALU would like to congratulate the new President and look forward to a fruitful collaboration.

Charles Rwechungura Elected TLS President

The Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) on 21 and 22 February 2014. A new President, Mr. Rwechungura was elected together with a new governing Council.

The full list of the new Council is as follows:
  • Mr. Charles R.B Rwechungura - President
  • Ms. Flaviana Charles - Vice President
  • Mr. John Seka - Honorary Treasurer
  • Mr. Francis Stolla - Immediate Past President
  • Mr. Bharat Chadha - Council Member
  • Mr. Nuhu Mkumbukwa - Council Member
  • Dr. (Ms.) Natujwa Mvungi - Council Member
  • Ms. Maria Matui - Council Member
  • Mr. Peter Hellar - Council Member
  • Mr. Daniel Welwel - Council Member
PALU would like to congratulate President Rwechungura and the Council on their appointment and looks forward to a fruitful collaboration.

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ACHPR Calls for an Update of Litigants’ Address Details

The Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) has requested that all litigants before the ACHPR provide their updated addresses (Telephone and facsimile numbers, e-mails, postal and physical addresses), in order to facilitate communication during the period their cases are pending before the Commission.

The ACHPR also stressed that litigants should always inform the Secretariat of any change of their contact details. It is imperative that at all times the Commission must has correct and up-to-date contact details for parties as these serve as the vehicle for all correspondence, most of which can be quite determinative.

All information should be sent to:

Statement of the Prosecutor of the ICC on Opening New Preliminary Examination in CAR

Madame Fatou Bensouda, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued the following statement:

“Over the past months, I have issued a number of public statements urging all groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) engaged in the on-going conflict to immediately cease the violence, and warning them that those alleged to be committing heinous crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) could be held individually accountable.
The plight of civilians in CAR since September 2012 has gone from bad to worse.  My Office has reviewed many reports detailing acts of extreme brutality by various groups and allegations of serious crimes being committed, which possibly fall within the ambit of the jurisdiction of the ICC. The information concerning these alleged crimes and the profound human suffering they cause is deeply concerning.
The allegations include hundreds of killings, acts of rape and sexual slavery, destruction of property, pillaging, torture, forced displacement and recruitment and use of children in hostilities.  In many incidents, victims appear to have been deliberately targeted on religious grounds.  
Following my Office’s analysis of the jurisdictional parameters regarding the situation in CAR since September 2012, I have concluded that these incidents and the serious allegations of crimes potentially falling within the jurisdiction of the ICC constitute a new situation, unrelated to the situation previously referred to the ICC by the CAR authorities in December 2004. I have therefore decided to open a Preliminary Examination into this new situation.
Henceforth, my Office’s further efforts will be aimed at gathering and analysing all the information necessary to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into this new situation. My Office’s efforts will be coordinated with those of the African Union and the United Nations in CAR. In conformity with the complementarity principle, my Office will also be engaging with the CAR authorities with a view to discussing ways and means to bring perpetrators to account, including at the national level.
CAR is a State Party to the Rome Statute, and as such, the ICC has jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed on the territory or by nationals of CAR since 1 July 2002.”
For further information, please contact:
Source: Office of the Prosecutor

Impending Nomination of Election of Four Judges of the African Court

The African Union (AU) will elect four new judges to the African Court during the next AU Summit of Heads of State and Government, to be held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, in June 2014. PALU recently circulated an e-Bulletin containing information on the impending nomination of African Court Judges. The Note Verbale containing all the information has now been officially released by the AU. It is available in four languages. Please click on the language applicable to you on the links below to be redirected to more information on how you can contribute to the election process.

1.    Click here for Arabic
2.    Click here for English
3.    Click here for French
4.    Click here for Portuguese

Please note that nominations must be submitted to the Office of the Legal Counsel on / before 30 April 2014.
PALU encourages all stakeholders to actively participate in national processes of nominating Judges to ensure that process is free, participatory and transparent.

Call for Articles Ecologue Vols. 3 and 4

Ecologue is a publication of the Rural Economy and Agriculture Department (DREA), Division of Environment, Climate Change, Water and Land Management of the African Union Commission (AUC) produced in commemoration of the 50th year anniversary of OAU/AU. It is a platform for the African research and policy community to express their ideas, experiences and research work on issues of environment ranging from climate change, forest, biodiversity, desertification and land degradation, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.

The Departments of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the AUC is calling for articles to contribute to the Ecologue.

Click here for more details on how to apply including deadlines.

Call for Applications for the Nomination of Expert Members of the Working Group on Death Penalty and Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings in Africa

At its 38th Ordinary Session held from 21 November to 5 December 2005 in Banjul, The Gambia, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Commission) adopted Resolution ACHPR/Res.79 (XXXVIII) 05 establishing a Working Group on Death Penalty in Africa.

By Resolution ACHPR/Res.227 (LII) 2012 adopted at its 52nd Ordinary Session held from 9-22 October 2012 in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire, the Commission decided to expand the mandate of the Working Group to include extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings, and changed the name of the Working Group to “Working Group on Death Penalty and Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings in Africa”.

The Working Group is currently composed of three members of the Commission and three expert members. In implementing its mandate, the Working Group undertakes promotion missions in the State Parties to the African Charter on human and peoples’ rights, organises sensitisation seminars and training sessions, publishes reports and research findings, sends urgent appeals and plays an active role in international and regional meetings on death penalty and extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings issues.  

As such, the Commission hereby invites applications in order to increase the number of expert members of the Working Group on Death Penalty and Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings in Africa. Applicants are required to have proven skills and experience in the area of human rights, in particular death penalty and extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings.

Applications should be accompanied by a cover letter, a detailed curriculum vitae and any other relevant document, and should be received at the Secretariat of the Commission by 28 March 2014 at the latest to enable the Commission to appoint new expert members of the Working Group during its 55th Ordinary Session to be held from 28 April to 12 May 2014.

For more information click here.

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Upcoming 32nd African Court Ordinary Session

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights will hold its 32nd Ordinary Session at its seat in Arusha (The United Republic of Tanzania), from 10 to 28 March 2014.

For more information on the cases that will be heard you can visit the Court's website here.

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The Foreign Law Clerk Programme of the Constitutional Court of South Africa

The Justices of the Constitutional Court of South Africa are pleased to invite applications from outstanding recent law graduates and young lawyers interested in serving as foreign law clerks, with positions starting as soon as 1 July 2014.  

The basic requirements to be appointed as a foreign law clerk are:
  1. A candidate must be a citizen of another country and not South African;
  2. Must possess a full law qualification and ordinarily newly qualified;
  3. If appointed foreign law clerks are expected to find their own source of funding while serving at the Court as the position does not come with a remuneration package;
  4. Foreign law clerks are normally appointed for a period of six months only.
In your application you must include cover letter stating why you would like to be considered for foreign law clerkship at the Court, curriculum vitae/résumé, referee letters and their contact details, own writing example, and qualification transcripts. Please indicate in your cover letter your preferred start date.

Please note that foreign law clerks applications are received on an ongoing basis and the foreign law clerk appointments by the Justices are made on the same basis. The short-listing for foreign law clerk positions is done by respective Justices when they would like to appoint foreign law clerks.

PALU would like to invite individuals, firms or organizations that might sponsor successful Applicants to be Foreign Clerks at the Constitutional Court of South Africa to kindly share this information with us at and cc: This would definitely be useful for the hundreds of brilliant young African lawyers who come from such poor backgrounds that they might not otherwise afford this opportunity.

Click here to view the full call for applications.

DAAD LLM Programme Applications Open for 2015

Applications for the LLM-course starting January 2015 can now be submitted for the DAAD Transnational Criminal Justice LLM Programme in Cape Town. Please note that the application deadline for the LLM programme starting in January 2015 is 31 May 2014.

To apply visit their website here.

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