Judges Converge on Kampala against Human Rights Violation in Africa

Tobi Soniyi

Judges from across Africa and other stakeholders will meet in Kampala, Uganda to brainstorm on how judiciary can further provide remedies for human rights violations in the continent.

The meeting which holds as the Fourth African Judicial Dialogue is scheduled for 30 October to 1 November 2019.

The dialogue, organised by the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in collaboration with the Republic of Uganda, will bring together over 300 delegates, including chief justices, presidents of supreme and constitutional courts as well as representatives of regional and international judicial bodies and other relevant stakeholders, from the 55 AU Member States.

The dialogue is a biennial event of the African Union aimed at improving networking amongst judicial officers, exchange of information and best practices and the proper administration of justice on the continent.

The theme of this year’s Dialogue is: Tackling Contemporary Human Rights Issues: The Role of the Judiciary in Africa, and is a build-up to the themes of the other three editions held in 2013, 2015 2017.

“The past three meetings have reaffirmed the importance of the dialogue as a platform for African national judiciaries to discuss opportunities and continuing challenges relating to their functions,” said the President of the AfCHPR, Hon Justice Sylvain Oré.

He added that the 4th Judicial Dialogue is expected to identify the major human rights issues currently facing Africa and what role the Judiciary could play to deal with such issues, among others.

The Chairperson of the Uganda National Organizing Committee, Her Worship Ms Esta Nambayo, says the overall objective of Uganda hosting the Dialogue is to “enhance international judicial cooperation through sharing of Judiciary challenges and best practices among states across Africa and beyond.”

The dialogue will be preceded by the first meeting of the International Human Rights Forum from 28 to 29 October in Kampala. This meeting which is hosted by the African Court will be attended by the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights under the theme, “Operationalising the International Human Rights Forum and Enhancing Jurisprudential Dialogue.”

AfCHPR is a Continental Court established by the Member States of the African Union, to ensure the protection of human and peoples’ rights in Africa. The Court commenced its operations in 2006, and has its permanent seat in Arusha, Tanzania.

The Court was established under the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which was adopted on June 9 1998 in Burkina Faso, and came into force on January 25 2004. Uganda ratified the Protocol on February 16 2001. So far, 30 countries have ratified the Protocol and of these, only nine have deposited the Declaration required under Article 34(6) of the Protocol to allow NGOs and individuals to access the Court directly.

The Court is composed of 11 Judges, nationals of Member States of the African Union elected in their individual capacity.

The dialogue is a biennial event, institutionalised by the African Union. This is the first time that the event will be hosted outside the Seat of the African Court.

Related Articles