Over a three-day period from 20 to 22 November 2017, Kigali, Rwanda, played host to the latest in the Wayamo Foundation’s series of East African international justice conferences aimed at exploring the current state of international criminal justice, its links with transnational organised crime, and national and regional efforts to deal with these crimes. The event was held thanks to the unstinting collaboration of the Rwandan Ministry of Justice and the financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office.
Another of the programme’s pillars was the following day’s intensive training session for investigators and prosecutors from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, aimed at building competencies in the investigation and prosecution of international and transnational crimes domestically. This model is purpose-designed to put the complementarity principle into practice, while at the sometime fostering synergies between the international criminal justice community and national legal actors.
However, the pillar of greatest potential practical importance was arguably the second High-level Network Meeting of Directors of Public Prosecution and Heads of Criminal Investigation Departments from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda on Monday 20 November, aimed at strengthening the rule of law by ensuring effective investigation and prosecution of complex crimes and intensifying inter-agency collaboration at the regional level. It is intended that the network will have three main functions: (1) to serve as a mechanism for exchanging knowledge, sharing policies, tools, templates and guidelines on topics such as witness protection, witness interviewing, arrest and extradition; (2) to enhance the working relationship between police and prosecutors during the course of investigations; and (3) to be an avenue for regional and cross-border collaboration and mutual legal assistance in international and transnational criminal cases.