Enriching legal practice through internships in Africa, the UK and USA
Press Release: SBL, PALU and ACC Join Hands in Enriching Legal Practice for Diaspora & African Lawyers, Solicitors, Barristers and Law Students through Internships in Africa, UK and USA.
Arusha, Tanzania. On 25 January 2017, the Society of Black Lawyers (SBL), the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) and the Coalition for an Effective African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACC) have joined hands in providing opportunities to African and Diaspora lawyers and law students to enrich their experience through internships in Africa, UK and the USA.
The project aims to facilitate the exchange of undergraduate & graduate law students, trainee barristers and solicitors and fully qualified solicitors and barristers, to undertake internships or placements at PALU and the ACC offices based in Arusha, Tanzania. In the second phase, which may take place in the second year of the project, it is envisaged that staff and interns from PALU and the ACC would be placed in law firms and Barristers’ Chambers in the UK and the USA. The internship, shall include developing expertise of drafting pleadings, preparing cases for trial, administrative work, and undertaking legal and educational research relevant to the work of the respective organizations and any other work deemed necessary by PALU and ACC. The number of interns for each year to be a minimum of two and a maximum of 16 in any given month, subject to agreement in writing between the respective organizations.
“We expect it to be a marvelous partnership of co-operation, opening opportunities for students, practitioners and lawyers from both the diaspora and from Africa.” Donald Peter Herbert O.B.E., Chairperson of SBL.
“This partnership is a new era for learning and sharing experience between black lawyers, Diasporas and African human rights lawyers for the advancement of human rights in Africa” Dieu-Donné Wedi Djamba, Executive Secretary for ACC.
“The Diaspora is the sixth region of Africa, and we are very happy that these three African organizations; one diaspora organization and two based on the continent are moving forward to practically show how we should cooperate and collaborate, and hopefully providing a practical model for the African Union and for the member states and other parts of professional associations, civil societies etc. on working together between the diaspora and those on the continent” Donald Deya, Chief Executive Officer of PALU.
The Coalition congratulates the three organizations for this joint partnership and calls for more strengthened collaboration between the Diaspora and Africa to advance the law and the legal profession, rule of law, good governance, human and peoples’ rights and socio-economic development of the African continent.
For more information on how you can be part of this exciting opportunity, contact:
Donald Peter Herbert O.B.E., Chairperson of SBL visits the Coalition staff in Arusha, Tanzania.
The three organisations signing partnership agreement.
Left to right: Donald Peter Herbert O.B.E., Chairperson of SBL, Dieu-Donné Wedi Djamba, Executive Secretary for ACC, and Donald Deya, Chief Executive Officer of PALU.
Press Release: Recent withdrawal of some African countries from the International Criminal Court
Tuesday, 1st November 2016
THE COALITION FOR AN EFFECTIVE AFRICAN COURT ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS IN LINE WITH THE RECENT WITHDRAWAL OF SOME AFRICAN STATES FROM THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC)
In light of the recent withdrawal of Burundi (11th October 2016), The Gambia (25th October 2016) and South Africa (21st October 2016) from the Rome Statute, the Coalition for an Effective African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Coalition) recognizes the pertinent need for African states to secure access to justice for its citizens and to strengthen the various African human rights mechanisms in order to guarantee victims’ rights and access to justice.
To this effect, the Coalition urges African States to ratify existing AU human rights instruments such as the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the establishment on an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Protocol)), to guarantee redress for victims of human rights violations on the African continent. Till date, out of 54 AU member states, only 30 have ratified the Protocol. These states include Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Comoros, Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Lesotho, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Nigeria, Niger, Rwanda, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, South Africa, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia and Uganda. However, ratification of the Protocol doesn’t suffice as the Protocol and Rules of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) further provide that direct access to the AfCHPR by individuals and NGOs with observer status before the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR), will be granted to citizens of member states that have made the declaration under Article 34 (6) of the same Protocol, accepting the AfCHPR’s jurisdiction. Till date, only 8 states have made this declaration and they include Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Malawi, Rwanda and Tanzania. However in February 2016, Rwanda withdrew its acceptance of the Court’s jurisdiction over individual and group complaints.
Given the limited number of states that have ratified the Protocol and made the Declaration accepting the AfCHPR’s jurisdiction, individuals and NGOs with observer status before the ACHPR access to the AfCHPR is equally very limited, with the AfCHPR throwing out many applications. This prevents citizens of these states from getting access to justice and seeking reparation under the law.
The Coalition would like to remind AU member states of their commitment to "promote and protect human and peoples’ rights" in accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other relevant human rights instruments as per Article 3(h) of the Constitutive Act of the AU. The Coalition further reminds African leaders of their slogan ‘African solutions to African problems’ and that African human rights mechanism, such as the AfCHPR, have been established to address human rights issues in the Continent.
Therefore, taking into account that 2016 is the African Year of Human Rights as declared by AU Summit in January of 2014, the Coalition urges AU member states to support the work of the AfCHPR by ratifying the Protocol and making the Article 34(6) declaration accepting the AfCHPR’s jurisdiction. This will in turn promote and strengthen African human rights mechanisms, by guaranteeing citizens of AU member states protection and redress under these mechanisms.
African Court Coalition seminar on the judicial procedures of the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights
African Court Coalition seminar on the judicial procedures of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Lubumbashi, DRC, 7 September 2016
The African Court Coalition and the Lubumbashi Bar Association organized a one day seminar on the judicial procedure of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The participants were introduced to the judiciary procedures of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights utilised by Africans to claim justice and redress in cases of human rights violations. The objective of the seminar was to strengthen the capacity of the lawyers on the procedures before the African Court and the African Commission, and encourage the promotion of human and peoples’ rights through the ratification of the Protocol establishing the African Court and the deposition of the Article 34(6) declaration to guarantee access to justice.
MAKE THE DIFFERENCE, SUPPORT THE AFRICAN COURT COALITION!
African Court Coalition being a non-profiting Organization is open to receive donations which will support its activities particularly on trainings, seminars, advocacy and round tables with a purpose of assuring access to justice for all in Africa in working toward an effective, accessible and independent African Court on People’s and Human Rights (African Court).
Donations will also be used to support young graduates to gain experience with the African Court and the African Human Rights System as a whole as well as the work experience in an organization through a rich internship program conducted at the African Court Coalition Secretariat.
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