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March 2014 Newsletter
 

The Headlines

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

Rwanda Day

6 April 2014 marked the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. PALU would like to take a moment to remember those that lost their lives. PALU would also like to acknowledge those that are survivors of the genocide and live with the scars both mentally and physically of the events of the genocide.

PALU attends PAP 10 Years Celebrations

PALU participated in the Fourth Ordinary Session and Tenth Anniversary Celebrations of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) that took place from the 10-19 March 2014 in Midrand, South Africa. The theme of the Session was "Ten Years of the Existence of the Pan African Parliament: Reflections on its Role”. The celebrations provided an opportunity to take stock of the Parliament's successes and challenges.

The highlight of the opening address by PAP President Hon. Bethel Amadi was the indication that the African Union Assembly will consider the Draft Protocol to grant PAP legislative powers at the next Summit of the AU in July in Malabo after a two year delay. The Fourth Ordinary Session was also monumental as it was the first time PAP considered and debated the Draft Budget of the African Union. Civil Society Organizations also participated in a dialogue on with the Parliament to discuss ways to increase collaboration between the two groups.

Other Meetings PALU Took Part In:
  • 1st international meeting of the Global Action against Mass Atrocity Crimes (GAAMAC)
  • Human Rights Defenders Regional Meeting on Protection Strategies
McGill University Visit to PALU

McGill University Visit to PALUPALU Secretariat hosted students from McGill University on 12 March 2014. Discussions centered on Community development, food, gender and rule of Law in East Africa. Discussions on community development centered on conflict and reconciliation. Those of food centered of food security and food sovereignty. Gender was a huge part of the discussions focusing on the relationship between the two sexes. Women’s rights were also discussed in regard to Land ownership as well as culture change.

PALU would like to thank McGill University for an interesting interactive session.

PALU Jobs Board

Current opportunities:
  • Legal Officer at Natural Justice: Lawyers for Communities and the Environment
  • U.S. and International Anti-Corruption Law – Summer Program at the Washington College of Law
  • TRACE International Anti-Corruption Scholarship Program
  • The British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL)Course on Public International Law; 21st Century Borders Conference
  • Legal/Research Officer at the Africa Freedom of Information Centre
  • Transitional Justice Fellowship Programme at Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) & The Hague Institute for Global Justice
For more information you can visit the jobs board at: http://lawyersofafrica.org/jobs-board.

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NEWS FROM OTHER ORGANIZATIONS

Nominations and Elections of Judges to the African Court
 
The Executive Council of the African Union Commission (AU) is due to appoint four judges to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Court) AU Summit in July 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

Click here for more information on the election process.
Click here for more information on former judges of the African Court (source of information African Court Coalition).

SADCLA Condemns the Arrest of Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu

SADC Lawyers’ Association (SADCLA) received alarming reports of the arrest of Mr. Thulani Rudolf Maseko, a Swazi lawyer and human rights activist. Mr. Maseko was arrested together with The Nation magazine Editor, Mr Bheki Makhubu, at 18h00 on 17 March 2014, and indicted at noon on 18 March 2014 on contempt of court charges arising from contemptuous statements they allegedly made to The Nation magazine. Both men were remanded into custody until their bail application, which was scheduled for 25 March 2014. At the time of print of this Newsletter, their bail application had been denied by the presiding judge.

Click here for the press release from SADC Lawyers’ Association (SADCLA).

The 32nd Ordinary Session of the African Court


 The African Court held its 32nd Ordinary session for 10-28 March 2014. During the session the Court held a public hearing in the case Issa Konaté v. Burkina Faso, Application No 004/2013.

PALU CEO, Donald Deya, together with Simon Delaney of Delaney Attorneys assisted the Court as Amici Curiae. The Amici opened the floor by explaining the importance of the right to freedom of expression. They also stated the importance of proportionality when restricting one’s rights. They went further to explain how defamation laws seriously limit freedom of speech in society. They also explained how the decision of the Court will affect the interests of journalists worldwide. They further explained the crucial role of the right to free expression in a democratic society and that it may only be curtailed under the most limited circumstances:
  1.  When the restriction serves a legitimate aim;
  2.  When it is provided for by law.
  3.  When the restriction is necessary.
For more details of the Amici’s submissions you can email us at: secretariat@lawyersofafrica.org.

Click here to read the summary of the case.

Click here for more information on the arguments presented in Court

African Court Stresses State Obligation to Protect Journalist

The African Court also made a decision in Application 013/2011 : Beneficiaries of the late Norbert Zongo, -Abdoulaye Nikiema, Ernest Zongo, Blaise Ilboudo and Mouvement Burkinabé des droits de l’homme et des peuples (MBDHP) v. Burkina Faso.

The Court concluded that the Respondent State, Burkina Faso, had failed in its obligation to take measures, other than legislative, to ensure that the rights of the Applicants for their cause to be heard by competent national Courts were respected. The Respondent State therefore violated Article 7 as well as Article 9 (2) of the Charter, read jointly with Article 66 (2) c) of the revised ECOWAS Treaty. Burkina Faso failed to act with due diligence in apprehending and prosecuting those responsible for the assassination of Norbert Zongo and his companions. Hence, Burkina Faso simultaneously violated Article 1 of the Charter by failing to take appropriate legal measures to guarantee the respect of the rights of the Applicants pursuant to Article 7 of the Charter.

The Court differed its decision on request for reparation and ordered the Applicant to submit their brief on reparations within thirty days from the day of pronouncement of the judgment. It also requested the Respondent State to submit to the Court, its brief in response on the reparations within thirty days from the date of reception of the brief of the Applicants.

The Applicants were represented by Mr. Ibrahima Kané, PALU member Mr. Chidi Odinkalu and Bénéwéndé Stanislas Sankara. Burkina Faso was represented Antoinette N. Ouedraogo and Anicet Pascal Somé. Counsel

For background information on the case click here and here for the dissenting opinion

We shall post a copy of the full Judgements as soon as it is made available to us.

The African Court Dismisses Two Cases against the United Republic of Tanzania

On 28 March 2014, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights declared two cases brought against the United Republic of Tanzania inadmissible for non-exhaustion of local remedies as required by Article 6(2) of the Protocol read together with Article 56(5) of the Charter and Rule 40(5) of the Rules.

The cases dismissed are:

Application No 001/2012: Frank D. Omary and others v. the United Republic of Tanzania and Application 003/2012: Peter Joseph Chacha v. the United Republic of Tanzania.

Mr. Chacha was represented by the Pan African Lawyers Union.

Click here to read the official press release

We shall post a copy of the full Judgements as soon as it is made available to us.

Application 003/2011

On 28 March, the African Court also delivered, a Ruling in respect of consolidated Application 001/2013: Urban Mkandawire v. The Republic of Malawi: Application for Review of Judgment and Application for Interpretation of Judgment.

Following the Court Judgment on 21 June 2013 in Application 003/2011: the Applicant, Mr. Urban Mkandawire, seized the Court with an Application for Review and Interpretation of the Judgment. In its Ruling, the Court held that the Application for interpretation of Judgment could not be entertained because interpretation of a judgment can only be sought from the Court “for the purpose of executing” the judgment.

Click here to read the official press release.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

IAWJ Conference on Justice for All

The International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization whose members represent all levels of the judiciary worldwide and share a commitment to equal justice and the rule of law. IAWJ will be holding its 12th Biennial Conference at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) from 5- 9 May 2014 in Arusha, Tanzania.

For more details including how to apply you can visit:
http://www.iawj.org/TanzaniaConf2014.html.

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ADVERTISEMENTS AND VACANCIES

AfDB Calls for Legal Consultants in Private Sector

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is looking to recruit about 3 consultants (1 French Speaking (or Bilingual English +French) and 2 Anglophone) in the Private Sector Division of the Legal Department and have sent out an EOI- which is attached hereto for your reference.

Candidates should have at least a Masters in Law (LL.M) and admission the Bar, and possess at least 5 years transactional (commercial law) experience preferably in a law firm or a financial institution.

Click here more information on how you can apply.

Invitation/Call for Applications 2014 Transitional Justice Fellowship Programme  

The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) and The Hague Institute for Global Justice are pleased to announce the convening of a three week intensive Transitional Justice in Africa Fellowship Programme.  The entire programme will take place from 8-29 June 2014. The residential programme will be held in Johannesburg and Cape Town, from 8-20 June 2014, immediately followed by a week in The Hague, Netherlands from 21-27 June 2014.  

Click here for more information.

ECOSOCC: Call for Applications

The ECOSOCC application process has re-opened for a period of three (3) months to allow for greater representation of CSOs from the fifty-four (54) African Union Member States and ensure regional balance.

Click here for the announcement.
Click here for the English application form.
Click here for the French application form.

The closing date for receiving applications is now 30 June 2014.

Investment Treaty Law and Arbitration Training

Africa International Legal Awareness is offering training in investment law and arbitration. The training will take place in London from 22-26 September 2014. The tuition fees for African applicants have been waived.

For more information you can click here.

Please note that the deadline for applications is 23 May 2014.

Call for Applications for the Nomination of Expert Members to serve on the Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment and Human Rights Violations in Africa

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission), at its 46th Ordinary Session held in Banjul, The Gambia from 11 to 25 November 2009, established the Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment and Human Rights Violations in Africa Working Group). The Working Group hereby seeks nominations of interested candidates for consideration to serve as independent expert members. Nominations should be accompanied by a cover letter and curriculum vitae of the proposed candidates, and should be sent to au-banjul@africa-union.org or africancommission@yahoo.com).

Please note that the application deadline is 11 April 2014.

Click here for the full call.

Trace Launches LLM Anti-Corruption Scholarship

TRACE, the leading global anti-bribery business association, has launched its TRACE Scholar program, funding two full scholarships for LLM (Master of Laws) students or professionals committed to enhancing transparency in business and government. The scholarships will be awarded to applicants from developing countries who have demonstrated a commitment to reducing corruption. The selected 2014 TRACE Scholars will have a choice of attending either University of Washington School of Law or the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
 
Please click here  for additional details. Please note that the application deadline is April 20. Recipients will be notified on or before June 15.
 
General questions should be directed to: info@traceinternational.org

US & International Anti-Corruption Law Summer Program
 
The US & International Anti-Corruption Law Certificate Program will run from June 16-20 2014. It will focus on implementation in practice of the UN Convention against Corruption, now in force in 170 countries; transnational enforcement of foreign bribery laws and private sector compliance practices; corruption risk identification and mitigation; the US anti-corruption legal framework, and corruption and human rights.  Classes are taught by expert private practitioners and officials from government and international organizations and are complemented by site visits to the World Bank, OAS, and other Washington, DC-based organizations.  

Further information and an Application Form are available online at: www.wcl.american.edu/anti-corruption.

Call for Applications for Multi-Stakeholder Workshop on UNCAC and its Review Mechanism

UNODC is organising a multi-stakeholder workshop to strengthen civil society capacity on the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and its review mechanism. Civil society, government and private sector representatives will take place in the workshop, which will take place from 24 to 26 June 2014 in the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA), Laxenburg, Austria. A half-day preparatory session will be held on 23 June for civil society representatives.

The overall objective of the workshop is to develop participants' capacity to contribute constructively to UNCAC and its review mechanism. More specifically, the training seeks to:
  • Equip participants with the substantive expertise in UNCAC provisions;
  • Inform participants about the methodology for country reviews and the use of the comprehensive self-assessment checklist;
  • Build capacity of participants to work with the private sector and to reproduce the training at the national/regional level;
  • Initiate dialogue with the government focal point.
This workshop targets African NGOs from countries to be reviewed in the fourth year of the UNCAC review cycle.  We will base our selection on criteria indicated in the application form.

Click here for the application form in English
Click here for the application form in French

Should your organization be interested in participating in the training, please fill in the form, either in French or in English, and return it to ngo.unit@unodc.org, along with the CV of the person who would be attending the training, no later than 15 April 2014.

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