African Court Research Initiative International Symposium

Resituating the African Court in African Ecologies of Justice:

Europe’s bitter experience with mass atrocities during the early and mid-20th century set the stage for the trials of Nazi and Japanese leaders. Through unprecedented Nuremberg and Tokyo International Military Tribunals, new international law took shape and played a critical role in the establishment of twentieth century justice norms. In the contemporary period, nowhere is this more significant than in Africa—the world’s second largest continent—the locus of several of the world’s contemporary sites of mass atrocities.  Unsurprisingly, the region has become a key node for the management of violence and the contestation of the application of international justice writ large.

In the spirit of these trends and challenges, and with the goal of developing a productive approach to understanding the complexities of newly forging African regionalisms, the African Court Research Initiative (“ACRI”), based at Florida International and Carleton Universities, will launch a two-day international symposium convened by Professors Charles C. Jalloh and M. Kamari Clarke, in collaboration with the Office of the Legal Counsel and Directorate of Legal Affairs of the African Union Commission under Professor Vincent O. Nmehielle. The symposium aims to explore the justice challenges posed by the Amendments Protocol and the meeting will provide a space for leading experts drawn from academia, legal practice and civil society, from Africa and throughout the world, to engage the merits or lack thereof of the regional treaty and its implications in shaping how we understand the newly re-conceptualized African regional system.

Notably, the symposium offers the opportunity for constructive thinking, by both the experts and judges of the present African Court of Human Rights based in Arusha, Tanzania, on how ancillary instruments such as rules of procedure and evidence as well as elements of crimes documents could be used to strengthen the legal framework that underpin the work of the future court.

The conference aspires to host a meaningful dialogue that can be used to identify both the opportunities and challenges that the Amendments Protocol might represent not just for Africa, but also for the advocacy work of civil society and the future of international criminal law and justice.

The symposium will be held on July 28 and 29, 2016 at the Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania. Sessions are expected to start at 9:00am and end at 5:30pm. Although this event is free of charge, participants are required to register and receive confirmation of registration.

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