Cape Town high-level workshop on establishing domestic units for international and transnational crimes

kotarski Judicial Capacity Building, News and Events

On 18-19 March 2016, the Wayamo Foundation and the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability (AGJA) organised a high-level meeting of Directorates of Criminal Investigations and Public Prosecutions and Heads of International Crime Units from across Africa in Cape Town, South Africa. (Programme)

The meeting included participants from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, the ICC, Interpol the the Palestinian Authority.

The meeting focused on issues around establishing domestic units for international and transnational crimes, specifically overcoming recurring challenges in the collection, sharing and use of evidence in the prosecution of serious international crimes in domestic courts, and strengthening the working relationships between prosecution authorities at the international and national levels.

It also included comprehensive discussions on the experiences of setting up specialist units and joint investigation teams, on regional and domestic coordination efforts, and on barriers to cooperation. One point driven home repeatedly by the participants was that the ICC should be seen as a part of a far wider, inter-linked system of justice, an idea embodied in the principle of complementarity and its use in practice by states seeking to strengthen their national legal systems to address core international crimes.

The meeting was held in advance of an international symposium on “African Justice mechanisms and their interplay with the International Criminal Court” from 22-24 March 2016 organised by the Africa Group and the Wayamo Foundation and hosted by the University of Cape Town.

The Africa Group for Justice and Accountability was established in November 2015 to support efforts to strengthen justice and accountability measures in Africa through domestic and regional capacity building, advice and outreach, and enhancing cooperation between Africa and the International Criminal Court. It comprises senior African experts on international criminal law and human rights, including political figures, members of international and domestic tribunals, and human rights advocates.

The Wayamo Foundation is an independent, non-profit organisation established to strengthen the rule of law, promote international criminal justice and foster transparency through informed journalism.