Arusha, Tanzania: Africa Group for Justice and Accountability and Wayamo Foundation hosted an International Symposium on the theme, “Towards a System of International Justice”.
On 18-19 October 2016, 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.
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; Conference report).
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.