SAVE THE DATE for PALU’s Upcoming Annual Conference 20 - 25 September 2015
The Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) cordially invites you to its 2015 Annual Conference, whose highlight will be a Symposium under the theme “Combatting Corruption: The Role of the Legal Profession in Africa.”
Venue and dates
The Conference and Symposium will be held at Sheraton Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria from Sunday 20 to Friday 25 September 2015 (travel dates inclusive) and will include the following scheduled activities:
We appreciate that not all participants can find time to attend to all of the days/ sessions; we encourage you to participate in as much of the Conference as is feasible for you.
- Sunday 20 September 2015: Arrival into Abuja
- Monday 21 September 2015: Opening of Nigeria’s Legal Year - African Bar leaders, Bar executives and other lawyers present will grace the ceremonies for the Opening of the Legal Year in Nigeria
- Tuesday 22 – Wednesday 23 September 2015: Symposium on “Combatting Corruption: The Role of the Legal Profession in Africa”
- Official Opening of the Conference and Symposium, under the High Patronage of H.E. Muhammadu Bahari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, will be on the morning of Tuesday 22 September 2015
- The Conference will culminate in the launching and signature of the Continental Code of Ethics on Anti-Corruption
- Tuesday 22 September 2015: PALU Council Meeting - a meeting of Presidents/ Chairpersons of Bar Associations and Law Societies from all over Africa (5 regions and 55 States)
- Wednesday 23 – Thursday 24 September 2015:PALU Annual Conference, which will include: -
- Launching of PALU Members’ (Practice) and Advisory Committees and election of Committee leadership
- Simultaneous Panels addressing various legal topical issues, including on business and commercial law.
- A “Speed Networking” platform, so that lawyers, law firms and law firm alliances from across the continent, and indeed across the world, can meet and exchange business information and forge working relationships.
- Friday 25 September 2015: Departure from Abuja
Conference Registration Fees (in United States Dollars)
(Before 15 September 2015)
|After 15 September 2015
|Nigerian PALU Members
||200 | NGN 40,000
||300 | NGN 60,000
|Nigerian NON- Members
||300 | NGN 60,000
||400 | NGN 80,000
|Life Members &
Special Endowment Members
Special Offer: Take Special Endowment Membership (USD 10,000) or Life Membership (USD 1,000) now and get free attendance to the 2015 Annual Conference.
For more information on the conference, visit http://lawyersofafrica.org/event/paluvscorruption
PALU Opens Access Bank Nigeria Account
PALU has successfully opened a bank account with Access Bank Nigeria
which will enable esteemed members and conference participants to pay easily their membership fees as well as Annual Conference fees. The account details are as follows:
Domiciliary Accounts (For members/participants who wish to pay directly to Access Bank branches located in the following Countries: DR Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, United Kindgdom and Zambia)
||Pan African Lawyers Union Company Limited
|Corporate Dom ACC GBP
|Corporate Dom ACC USD
|Corporate Dom ACC EUR
For more payment options, click here
REMINDER: Survey Questionnaire on Laws Criminalizing Petty Offences under National Jurisdictions
PALU, in collaboration with a consortium of Civil Society Organizations is conducting a survey on criminalization and penalization of petty offences under national jurisdictions across Africa. To make the survey a success, surveyors are venturing into data collection by means of a simple questionnaire that enables individuals to share information on the laws, regulations and practices in their respective jurisdictions. The questionnaire submission deadline has been extended to 14 September
Names of all persons who successfully complete the questionnaire will be put into a draw for the selection of individuals who will be offered free participation at PALU’s 2015 Annual Conference in Abuja, Nigeria.
for more information about the survey detailed in a bulletin by PALU
Judges Workshop on Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
On 17 to 21 August, the judiciary of Tanzania held a Judges’ Workshop on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Arusha, Tanzania. PALU was invited to deliver a presentation during the session on human rights protection with a focus on the international and regional human rights protection system under United Nation, African Union and Sub-regional Organizations. PALU’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Donald Deya (Advocate) shared with the Judges a broad account of human rights protection system existing across the various regional and international platforms.
PALU Participates in the 16th SADCLA AGM and Conference
The South African Development Community Lawyers’ Association
(SADCLA) held its Sixteenth Annual General Meeting and Conference from 20 to 23 August 2015. The event took place at Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and was organized in collaboration with the Tanganyika Law Society
(TLS). It was held under the theme “Using the Law to Strengthen Good Governance Practices and to Facilitate Social, Economic and Political Transformation in the SADC Region.”
PALU delivered a presentation during a plenary session on engaging with the State on Legal Profession legislation and issues of public and professional interest focusing on perspectives from Kenya.
NBA 55th Annual General Conference (AGC 2015)
The Nigerian Bar Association
(NBA), an institutional member of PALU, held its fifty fifth Annual General Conference from 21 to 28 August 2015 at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, Nigeria. The conference was held under the theme, “Lawyers and National Development.”
PALU took part in the conference and on 24 August 2015, made contribution during a session on the role of law in national development.
More information is available at http://www.nigerianbar.org.ng/.
PALU Joins Other Stakeholdesr in a Workshop on the UNECA Implementation Plan of IFFs Report’s Recommendations
On 4 and 5 June 2015, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
(UNECA) held a stakeholders’ workshop at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Building on the passage of a Special Declaration of the High Level Panel (HLP) Report on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Africa by African Union Heads of State at the 24th African Union Summit, UNEC has developed an implementation work plan based on all the recommendations of the HLP Report. The main objective of the workshop was to establish streamlined support to the anti-IFF agenda by creating a forum where all relevant stakeholders could discuss how the recommendations of the HLP Report will be implemented and also a platform where stakeholders could discuss the roles and responsibilities they will respectively undertake.
The workshop benefited from the insights attained through the participation of decision makers from the African Union Commission (AUC), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Regional financial revenue and customs organizations, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the NEPAD Planning and coordinating Agency (NPCA), the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Secretariat, UN system agencies and other development partners as well as civil society organizations working on IFF in Africa. PALU was represented by its President, Barrister Elijah Banda, SC.
PALU Takes Part in a Strategic Litigation Workshop for Eastern and Southern Africa
PALU took part in a strategic litigation workshop organised by the International Commission of Jurists
(ICJ) on 21 to 24 June 2015. The meeting, which took place in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, was tailored to cover experiences in Eastern and Southern Africa. The workshop was for lawyers and activists who deal with cases of business corporations that violate human rights, and were considering or were already in the process of bringing proceedings against companies before courts nationally, regionally or internationally. PALU gave a brief presentation on the Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights (Malabo Protocol) which extends jurisdiction of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights. PALU discussed the history of the Protocol from its drafting until its adoption on Friday 27 June 2014, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The presentation also touched on the novelties and implications of the Protocol, in particular, Article 46C on corporate criminal liability in bringing to account corporations that violate human rights.
PALU’s Pan-African Anti-Corruption Campaign
PALU held a two-day meeting on 24 and 25 July 2015 in Abuja, Nigeria to mark the onset of its Pan-African Anti-Corruption Campaign. The delegation was led by PALU’s Vice Presidents for Western and Eastern Africa, Advocate Emeka J. P. Obegolu and Advocate Eric Kyalo Mutua, respectively. Other members of the delegation included, PALU’s Chief Executive Officer, Advocate Donald O. Deya, PALU’s Associate Officer for Economic Governance, Advocate Grace Wanjiku Mbogo, Advocate Safouen Ben Abdallah from Tunisia who is retained by PALU as a Consultant for the Anti-Corruption Programme and Mr. Charl Marais from Siemens AG. The campaign reflects on what the lawyers of Africa can do individually and collectively to combat the scourge of corruption on the continent. PALU’s aims include stirring a proactive engagement in the fight against corruption particularly through public interest litigation; as well as the formulation, adoption and signing of a Continental Code of Ethics on Anti-Corruption which will provide guidance to individual lawyers, law firms, Law Societies and Bar Associations. The meeting began the process of drafting the aforementioned Code of Ethics, which will be open for signature to the aforementioned stakeholders in the legal field.
On the sidelines of the meeting, the Delegation, hosted by the General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Advocate Mazi Afam Osigwe, paid a courtesy call to the NBA Headquarters. It conveyed the fraternal greetings from PALU’s President Elijah Banda, SC and the rest of the PALU Executive Committee to his counterpart, the President of NBA and the NBA Executive Committee. PALU attended the 55th General Conference of the NBA that was held under the theme “Lawyers and National Development”
at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, Nigeria from 21 to 28 August 2015.
At the NBA Headquarters, the Delegation also held a Press Conference and briefed the general public about the Anti-Corruption Campaign particularly the development of the aforementioned Continental Code of Ethics. Also announced during the Press Conference was PALU’s upcoming Annual Conference that will be held in Abuja, Nigeria from 20 to 25 September 2015 under the theme “Combating Corruption: the Role of the Legal Profession in Africa”
to see details on PALU’s upcoming Annual Conference.
EACJ Ruling on EACSOF’s Application Ref. No. 05 of 2015
On 6 July 2015, the East African Civil Society Organizations’ Forum
(EACSOF), represented by PALU as legal counsel, filed an Application before the East African Court of Justice
(EACJ) Ref. No. 2 of 2015 EACSOF v The Attorney General of Burundi and 2 Others
. The Reference challenges the legality of the decision of the Burundian Constitutional Court which legitimatized President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid to run for a third term. Simultaneously, the Applicant lodged a Notice of Motion, Application No. 5 of 2015 EACSOF v The Attorney General of Burundi and 2 Others arising from the aforementioned Ref. No. 2 of 2015 seeking Interim Orders for the stay of Decree No. 100/177 of 9 June 2015 and the decision of the Commission Electorale Nationale Independente (CENI) dated 12 June 2015 as well as an order directing the CENI and Government of the Republic of Burundi to postpone the Presidential and Senatorial Elections.
The Application for Interim Orders (Ref. No. 05) was heard ex parte on 14 July 2015. The EACJ declined to grant the orders sought and ordered that the Application be heard on 20 July 2015 inter partes. Invoking Rule 68(3) of the EACJ Rules, the Court ruled that it is neither judicious nor necessary or desirable to issue the interim orders sought hence, the Application was disallowed. The reasons for the decision of 20 July 2015 were delivered on 29 July 2015.
While the Application for Interim Orders (Provisional Measures) has been disallowed, the main Application, Ref. No 2 of 2015 remains to be heard. The Applicant (EACSOF) is represented by the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU), which remains committed to litigating all the issues in the Reference fully.
to read more information on the case, including the EACJ Ruling on Application No 5 of 2015 delivered on 20 July 2015 and the Ruling delivered on 29 July 2015 rendering reasons for disallowing Applicaiton No. 5 of 2015.
PALU Participates in Drafting a General Comment on Article 5 of the African Charter
PALU took part in a technical meeting on drafting a General Comment on Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights stipulating the right to redress for victims of torture and ill-treatment. The two-day meeting, held from 6 to 7 July 2015, was convened by the African Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa which is a special mechanism of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, in collaboration with the Redress Trust, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, and Kenya Human Rights Commission. In this meeting, which aimed at initiating the process for developing the aforementioned General Comment, PALU was represented by its Deputy Secretary General Ms. Gigi Reid-Miles.
The Meeting brought together twenty-eight (28) national, regional and international participants with expertise in the area of torture prevention and prohibition generally, and victims’ right to redress specifically. Participants explored the normative framework of the right to redress, the status quo regarding victims’ access to redress on the continent; identified good practices as well as challenges and gaps at national, regional and international levels that the General Comment could usefully address. Among other things, the technical meeting concluded that the General Comment on Victims’ Right to Redress should be framed to respond to issues of redress holistically; to ensure victims’ needs remain at the centre of interventions; and to take account of Africa’s realities and contexts.
to read the ACHPR press release and here
to read the African Legal Centre press release.
ICJ Conference on Rising Judicial Persecution of HRDs in Africa
On 16 and 17 July 2016 the International Commission of Jurists
(ICJ) with the support of Open Society Foundations
, and in collaboration with the Africa Judges and Jurists Forum, held a two-day conference on “Rising Judicial Persecution of Human Rights Defenders in Africa”,
in Pretoria, South Africa. The conference built on a workshop that was initially convened by the ICJ in August 2013 for Southern Africa Development Community
(SADC) lawyers defending human rights defenders. It sought to raise awareness of rising judicial and security sector persecution of human rights defenders and the impact of this on upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms. It provided a platform for judicial officers, activists and journalists to give their perspectives on the persecution of defenders. The conference also looked into the work of regional and international mechanisms for the protection of human rights defenders. PALU attended at the conference and made a presentation on the East African Court of Justice Case Ref. No 7 of 2013: Burundi Journalists’ Union v. The Attorney General of the Republic of Burundi.
Amongst the participants were Mr Thulani Maseko and Mr Bheki Makhubu who had just been released after being imprisoned in Swaziland for over a year. There was a dedicated session for an account what they went through before, during and after their release. At the conclusion of the conference participants made recommendations on how Africa can improve the plight of human rights defenders in Africa.
for more information from ICJ press release.
for the EHAHRDP press release.
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NEWS FROM OUR MEMBERS
RBA Publishes a List of Lawyers Equipped in International Criminal Cases
On 6 August 2015, the Rwanda Bar Association
(RBA) published a list of 66 lawyers qualified to provide legal aid services on international crime cases in accordance with Rwandan Law and International standards as well as the legal aid policy. This is in order to support the administration of the legal aid provided for indigent persons transferred from other jurisdictions. The National Legal Aid Policy adopted by the Cabinet on 15 October 2014 stipulates the guidelines for the provision of legal aid for all eligible Rwandans including those transferred from other jurisdictions to face charges of Genocide in Rwanda. This list has been provided only to ease the process of administration in legal aid cases since it is established both by national laws and international fair trial standards that an indigent person seeking legal aid does not have a right to choice of counsel.
To view the names and full contact details of the lawyers click here
Former President Muna Appointed Member of the TI’s Advisory Committee
The Board of Directors of Transparency International
(TI) recently appointed former President of PALU, Barrister Akere T. Muna to be a Member of TI’s Advisory Council for the next five years. Transparency International is a non-governmental organization that monitors and publicises corporate and political corruption in international development. Its Advisory Council consists of a distinguished group of individuals with outstanding backgrounds in government, the corporate sector, international institutions and the international anti-corruption movement. While Members of the Advisory Council are not expected to formally represent TI, Membership on the Advisory Council offers the holder an opportunity to give advice to TI about on strategic matters.
Barrister Akere T. Muna is a PALU Special Endowment Member
and has been, and continues to be, a distinguished supporter of PALU. PALU extends sincere congratulations to its Former President for this appointment and wishes him success in this instrumental role on the fight against corruption.
Me Mbaye Gueye to Become the next President of the Law Society of Senegal
The General Assembly of the Law Society of Senegal elected Me Mbaye Gueye as the next Batonnier of the Law Society (Dauphin du Batonnier). The election took place on 9 July 2015. Me Gueye will take over the leadership of the Law Society Of Senegal from Batonnier Ameth Ba in 2016.
PALU congratulates Mr Mbaye Gueye for his appointment and looks forward to continuing a close and friendly collaboration with the Law Society of Senegal.
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NEWS FROM OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
EACJ Starts Hearing a Reference on Uganda’s Defamation Law
The East African Court of Justice (EACJ) in Arusha Tanzania, on Friday July 31 started hearing a case in which a Ugandan journalist, the late Ssembuusi Ronald, challenged his conviction on charges of criminal defamation. Ssembuusi in his affidavit contended that the continued use by the Uganda government of sections 179 and 180 of the Penal Code Act of Uganda which provide for the offence of criminal defamation is a violation of the fundamental and operating principles of the East African Community Treaty. The reference prays that the EACJ determines whether these provisions place justifiable restrictions on the right to freedom of expression, media and access to information that are protected by the Treaty for Establishment of East African Community. Meanwhile, the United Nations, African Union, Media Legal Defence Initiative-London and nineteen other civil society organizations have filed applications at the East African Court of Justice seeking to intervene in the case. The late Ssembuusi, who passed away in January this year, is represented by Catherine Anite and Nicholas Opiyo of Oasis Advocates. A panel of five Judges of the Court’s First Instance Division led by the Principal Judge of the Court, Justice Monica Mugenyi, directed the late Applicant’s lawyers to file a motion substituting the deceased with the duly appointed legal representative.
To read a press release by Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda click here
The AU Inaugurates the African Governance Platform’s Clusters
On 2 to 5 August 2015, the Department of Political Affairs of the African Union Commission
(DPA/AUC), in collaboration with the Government of Algeria and International IDEA
convened a meeting to make final deliberations on and inaugurate the African Governance Platform’s Clusters. The meeting brought together members of the African Governance Architecture Clusters on Constitutionalism and Rule of Law and the Cluster on Human Rights and Transitional Justice. Members deliberated on the Clusters’ working methods, leadership and Work Plan for 2015 to 2016. The meeting adopted the Clusters’ 2015 Annual Work Plan and decided on singular and flagship initiatives of the clusters for 2015 as also explored resource mobilisation and cost sharing strategies in support of the respective Clusters’ activities. Addressing the Meeting, HE Dr. Aisha L. Abdullahi, AUC stated that the essence of that inaugural meeting goes to the core of the reforms that heralded the transition from the Organization of the African Unity to the African Union in 2001.
To read the press release by AU click here
Botswana President Khama Takes over the SADC Chairmanship
The President of Botswana, His Excellency Seretse Khama Ian Khama took over the rotating Chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) from His Excellency President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe at the 35th Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State. This Summit was held on 17 and 18 August 2015 in Gaborone, Botswana under the theme “Accelerating Industrialisation of SADC Economies through Transformation of Natural Endowment and Improved Human Capital”
. In his opening remarks, President Khama called for collective efforts in ensuring that the Community is successful in its endeavors of transform the SADC region into a better place, envied throughout the world as a beacon for political stability and economic prosperity. Meanwhile, human rights groups called on leaders of the 15-nation SADC to take steps to improve the rule of law and human rights as they meet in Botswana.
to read report coverage, and here to read the calls by rights group to the SADC leaders.
to read the Coalition for an effective SADC Tribunal Call to reinstate the SADC Tribunal on the eve of the SADC Summit.
to read the Human Rights Watch call SADC to take concrete steps to improve rights ahead of the SADC summit.
The ICC Appeals Chamber Rules on Kenya’s Alleged Non-compliance
The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court
(ICC), on 19 August 2015, delivered a judgment on the Office of the Prosecutor’s (OPT) application for a finding of non-cooperation against the Kenyan Government with its obligations under the Rome Statute in the case The Prosecutor v. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta
. The original Application was filed on 29 November 2013 by the OPT, before the Trial Chamber V(B) on grounds that the Government of Kenya had failed to comply with a request to produce records relating to Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta. On 3 December 2014, Trial Chamber V(B) rejected the application for referral of the matter to the Assembly of State Parties therefore the Prosecutor appealed this decision on 20 March 2015 to the Appeals Chamber.
Delivering a summary of the judgment in an open court session, Presiding Judge in this appeal, Judge Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi, indicated that the Appeals Chamber considered that Trial Chamber V(B) did erroneous assessments of several issues surrounding the application. Among others are; failure to address whether judicial measures had been exhausted to obtain the Kenyan Government’s cooperation; and an inconsistent assessment of the sufficiency of evidence and the Prosecutor’s conduct. The Appeals Chamber found that these errors prevented the Trial Chamber from making a conclusive determination on the existence of a failure to comply with a cooperation request by the Court and affected the Trial Chamber's decision not to refer the matter of Kenya's non-compliance to the ASP.
The Appeal Chamber reversed the Trial Chamber’s decision and remanded it to the Trial Chamber for a new determination.
To read the ICC press release click here
AU Summit Convenes to Discuss Continental Burning Issues
This year’s African Union (AU) Summit was held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 7 to 14 June 2015. The Permanent Representative Committee (PRC) of the Union held its meeting on 7 and 8 June, the Executive Committee of the Union met from 11 to 12 June and lastly on 14 to 15 June the Assembly of the Union session took place. The Summit was held under the theme, “2015 Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development Towards Agenda 2063”
. The AU Assembly, marking its 25th Ordinary Session, adopted a wide range of decisions on different burning issues on the continent. Some of the issues deliberated on, among others, include those concerning peace and security, governance, women empowerment and development, 2016 budget of the Union, the Continental Free Trade Area, the International Criminal Court and Agenda 2063.
to read the AU’s final press release of the Assembly and here
to see the decisions, declarations and resolutions of the Assembly.
African Court Conducts a Sensitization Mission in Lesotho
On 6 and 7 July 2015, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights
(AfCHPR) conducted a two-day sensitisation mission in the Kingdom of Lesotho. The mission aimed at, among other things, enhancing awareness of the Court and promoting its utilization by the public; encouraging Lesotho’s speedy deposit of the Declaration under Article 34(6) of the Protocol establishing the African Court; and holding meetings with relevant government stakeholders for purposes of promoting the Court. The Court’s Delegation paid courtesy calls to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Relations and Justice and the Office of the President of the senate. It also held a seminar for human rights stakeholders in the Kingdom at the Sun Maseru Hotel and delivered a lecture at the National University of Lesotho. Lesotho assured support for the work of the African Court and expressed its readiness to consider depositing the Article 34(6) Declaration, which fundamentally allows direct access to the African Court by individuals and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
Burkina Faso’s Electoral Code Amendment Ruled a Human Rights Violation
The Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of Western African States
(ECOWAS), on 13 July 2015, ruled that Burkina Faso’s Amended Electoral Code of 7 April 2015 is a violation of the right to freely participate in elections. The Community Court so ruled while delivering a judgment in case No ECW/CCJ/APP/1915 brought by seven of the country’s political parties and thirteen individuals. The Plaintiffs were challenging the Amendment promulgated by the government following the departure of the former President Blaise Compaore. The Plaintiffs argued that they were deemed to be supporters of the departed President and targeted for exclusion through the amendment. The Court, proclaiming its jurisdiction to entertain the case ruled for the Plaintiffs holding the law which barred some political parties and individuals from participating in the country’s political process a violation of not only the ECOWAS revised treaty but also the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
to read a press release by the Community Court.
SASLAW to Host the ISLSSL’s 21st World Congress in South Africa
The South African Society for Labour Law
(SASLAW) will host the 21st World Congress for the International Society for Labour and Social Security Law (ISLSSL) in Cape Town from 15 to 18 September 2015. This is the first time the Labour Law World Congress will be hosted in South Africa and indeed, in Africa. It will provide a platform for discussions on labour and social security law in the globe where prolonged economic and social uncertainty appears to have become the norm. ISLSSL in partnership with SASLAW, International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Conference Company have secured the participation of some of the world’s leading authorities in labour law. The conference will facilitate the exchange of not only legal insights and ideas but also aims to share some of the African culture, custom and cuisine. Registration for delegation attendance is still open and it is highly encouraged.
for the Conference programme, here to see accommodation options and here for promotional document.
For more information on the current vacancies from our members and networks you can visit our