Arusha Symposium “Towards a System of International Justice”

kotarski International Conferences, News and Events

Arusha, Tanzania: Africa Group for Justice and Accountability and Wayamo Foundation hosts International Symposium on the theme, “Towards a System of International Justice”.

Three weeks shy of its first anniversary, the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability (AGJA), which was launched on the sidelines of the International Criminal Court Assembly of States Parties on 23 November 2015 in The Hague, held the second of its bi-annual symposium events at the Mount Meru Hotel, Arusha, Tanzania, from 18-19 October 2016.

The symposium was attended by representatives of the African Union as well as some 80 human rights activists, experts on international criminal law, and civil society organisations from across Africa and other parts of the world. It was officially opened by Tanzanian Chief Justice, Mr. Mohamed Chande Othman, who is also a member of the AGJA.

The event brought together experts on international criminal justice, human rights activists, academics and practitioners from the field of international law to discuss a range of issues around the theme, “Towards a System of International Justice” (download programme).

Some of the critical topics discussed at the symposium included:

  • The promise and limitations of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and how this relates to Africa
  • The revival of hybrid tribunals
  • Domestic justice and universal jurisdiction
  • African accountability for international crimes
  • A holistic approach to justice
  • The state of human rights in Africa
  • Current obstacles to consolidating a system of international justice and the way forward.

As part of its core activities the Africa Group is also engaged in regular capacity-building activities. Whilst in Arusha, the group also hosted a two-day workshop from 21 to 22 October, for first responders to scenes of mass crimes. The participants included rights field investigators, NGO representatives and media from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The Africa Group for Justice and Accountability was established to support efforts to strengthen justice and accountability measures in Africa through domestic and regional capacity building, advice and outreach, and enhancing co-operation between Africa and the ICC. It is made up of senior African experts on international criminal law and human rights, including political figures, members of international and domestic tribunals, and human rights advocates.

The members are:

  • Dapo Akande (Nigeria)
    Professor of Public International Law, University of Oxford
  • Femi Falana (Nigeria)
    Human rights activist and lawyer
  • Hassan Bubacar Jallow (Gambia)
    Former Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals
  • Richard Goldstone (South Africa)
    Former Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia
  • Tiyanjana Maluwa (Malawi)
    H. Laddie Montague Chair in Law, Pennsylvania State University School of Law
  • Athaliah Molokomme (Botswana)
    Attorney General of Botswana
  • Betty Kaari Murungi (Kenya)
    Independent Consultant on Human Rights and Transitional Justice
  • Mohamed Chande Othman (Tanzania)
    Chief Justice of Tanzania
  • Navi Pillay (South Africa)
    Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Catherine Samba-Panza (Central African Republic)
    Former Transitional President of the Central African Republic
  • Fatiha Serour (Algeria)
    Director of Serour Associates for Inclusion and Equity
  • Abdul Tejan-Cole (Sierra Leone)
    Executive Director of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa