PostHeaderIcon First Colloquium & Third General Assembly

PostHeaderIcon First Colloquium and Third General Assembly

The Coalition for an Effective African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Court Coalition/the Coalition) together with The Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya) and Rencontre Africaine pour la Defénse des Droits de l’Homme (RADDHO) successfully organized the first Colloquium of the African Court Coalition themed; “Building the Court we want: Reflecting on perspectives of the proposed African Court with criminal jurisdiction” on the 12 of March 2015 and the 3rd General Assembly on the following day (13 March 2015). Both events were held at the Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha Tanzania.

 

The First Colloquium

The Colloquium aimed at exploring avenues for redress in the fight against impunity provided in the Malabo Protocol that was adopted in June 2014 at the ordinary summit of the AU as well as reflecting on the concerns amongst stakeholders and their expectations regarding the capacity of the Court to effectively fight impunity in the continent.

This was a forum that brought together civil society organizations, lawyers, scholars, donors and other potential stakeholders. In attendant was also the Judge President of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights; Justice Agustino Ramadhani who gave a key note speech and opened the Colloquium.

Presenters to the Colloquium included; Mr. Dzimbabwe Chimbga (Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights-Zimbabwe), Mr. Dieu-Donne Wedi Djamba (African Court Coalition), Mr. George Kegoro (ICJ-Kenya) Dr. Tarisai Mutangi (Zimbabwe), Dr. Chacha Bhoke Murungu (University of Dodoma-Tanzania), Mr. Don Deya (Pan-African Lawyers Union), Prof. Frans Viljoen (University of Pretoria), Mr. Japhet Biegon (Amnesty International), Mr. Alphonse Van (Former Senior Appeal Counsel, Office of the Prosecutor- ICTR) and Mr. Hassan Bility (Global Justice and Research Project-Liberia).

As per its aims to promote the protection of human rights as well as access to justice for victims of human rights violation in the continent, the Coalition will support not only the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights but also the coming Court with extended jurisdiction that will cover criminal matters amongst others (African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights). Colloquium debates allowed the Coalition to identify strategies both at national and African Union level to work toward an effective coming Court. These strategies will be developed to engage with the Malabo Protocol in strengthening positive aspects of the Malabo Protocol and weakening negative aspects of the same Protocol in order to realize the effectiveness of the coming Court in the fight against impunity and access to justice in Africa.

 

The 3rd General Assembly

Members and invited guests attended the African Court Coalition 3rd General Assembly of which the main agenda was presentation of activity and financial reports from the Chairperson and election of new Executive Committee Members as well as new Focal Points to serve for the period of three years as provided under the Coalition Constitution.

Following organisations were candidates for the Executive Committee:
• Pan-African Lawyers Union (PALU), Arusha, Tanzania;
• Tanganyika Law Society, Arusha, Tanzania;
• East Africa Law Society, Arusha, Tanzania;
• Southern Africa Litigation Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa;
• Centre des Droits de l’Homme et du Développement – Brazzaville, R. Congo;
• Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Harare, Zimbabwe;
• Centre pour la Promotion de la Démocratie et le Défense des Droits de I’Homme (CDDH), Libreville, Gabon ;
• Avocats Sans Frontières-Senegal, Dakar, Senegal ;
• Tanganyika Law Society- Arusha, Tanzania.

The following organisations were candidates for Focal Points:
• Southern Africa Focal Point: Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum – Harare, Zimbabwe;
• Northern Africa Focal Point: Centre d’Information et de Documentation sur les Droits de l’Enfant et de la Femme (CIDDEF) – Algiers, Algeria;
• Eastern Africa Focal Point: Somaliland Lawyers Association – Hargeisa, Somaliland,Somalia;
• Central Africa Focal Point: Association de Droits de l’Homme et l’Univers Carcéral (ADHUC), CongoBrazzaville;
• Lusophone Focal Point: Associação Justiça, Paz e Democracia (AJPD), Luanda, Angola;
• National Human Rights Institution Focal Point: Institute for Human Rights Development in Africa (IHRDA), Banjul, the Gambia;
• Western Africa Focal Point: Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), Lagos, Nigeria.

Given the limited numbers of new candidacies for the Executive Committee and Focal Points, the General Assembly took a resolution to elect for 3 years (2015-2018) term organisations which stood for elections for the positions in the Executive Committee as well as Focal Points including those which had already served for 2 terms consecutively. Also, given the fact that number of candidacy for the Executive Committee was 8 instead of at least 9 in order to get 9 members as provided by the Coalition’s Constitution, the General Assembly also decided that a ninth member of the Executive Committee will be nominated by the newly elected Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will nominate the ninth in the next 2 weeks following the General Assembly.

The General Assembly also took the resolution to amend the Coalition’s Constitution and decided that the Coalition will organise an extraordinary General Assembly in 2017 to adopt those amendments. The extraordinary General Assembly will be held together with the Second Colloquium of the Coalition.

Below is the list of the Executive Committee Members and Focal Points of the Coalition that will serve for three years; 2015-2018; The next elective General Assembly will be held in 2018.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
• Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Harare, Zimbabwe [Chairperson]
• Centre pour la Promotion de la Démocratie et le Défense des Droits de I’Homme (CDDH) - Libreville, Gabon [Vice Chairperson]
• Avocats Sans Frontières-Senegal, Dakar, Senegal [Legal Affairs Sub-Committee]
• Pan-African Lawyers Union (PALU), Arusha, Tanzania [Legal Affairs Sub-Committee &Finance and Administration Sub-Committee]
• Tanganyika Law Society, Arusha, Tanzania [Finance and Administration Sub-Committee]
• East Africa Law Society, Arusha, Tanzania [Finance and Administration Sub-Committee]
• Southern Africa Litigation Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa [Membership Sub-Committee]
• Centre des Droits de l’Homme et du Développement, Congo Brazzaville [Membership Sub-Committee]

FOCAL POINTS
• Lusophone Focal Point: Associação Justiça, Paz e Democracia (AJPD), Luanda, Angola
• National Human Rights Institution Focal Point: Institute for Human Rights Development in Africa (IHRDA), Banjul, the Gambia
• Western Africa Focal Point: Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), Lagos, Nigeria
• Southern Africa Focal Point: Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Harare, Zimbabwe
• Northern Africa Focal Point: Centre d’Information et de Documentation sur les Droits de l’Enfant et de la Femme (CIDDEF), Algiers, Algeria
• Eastern Africa Focal Point: Somaliland Lawyers Association, Hargeisa, Somaliland, Somalia
• Central Africa Focal Point: Association de Droits de l’Homme et l’Univers Carcéral (ADHUC), CongoBrazzaville

The Coalition is grateful to Trust Africa for its financial support


Participants at the Third General Assembly

 
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