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Wednesday, 13 September 2017 12:52

1. On 2 September 2017, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Court), in collaboration with the World Bank, organized a preparatory (pre-judicial dialogue) meeting for the Third Judicial Dialogue. 

The Third Judicial Dialogue will be held under the theme “Improving Judicial Efficiency in Africa”, from 8 to 10 November, 2017, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

2. The overall objective of the Pre-Dialogue Meeting was to brainstorm and plan with judges representing each of the five regions of the continent on ways and means to ensure the effective preparation for the Third Judicial Dialogue.

3. The Pre-Dialogue Meeting was attended by Hon. Justices from Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Tunisia and Uganda, as well as the President and Vice President of the African Court.

4. The meeting was conducted in the four working languages of the African Union that is, Arabic, English, French and Portuguese, to allow for easy communication, active participation and constructive exchange during the discussions.

5. The meeting was opened by Honourable Justice Sylvain Oré, President of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Justice Oré emphasised that the theme of this year’s judicial dialogue is important given that there is nothing that is more urgent than enhancing judicial efficiency in Africa.

6. The Pre-Dialogue Meeting considered the following working documents:

a. Progress Report on the organization of the Third Judicial Dialogue

b. Concept note and draft programme of the Third Judicial Dialogue

c. Concept note on an Online Course on Human Rights for National Judiciaries

d. Concept Note on the establishment of an African Centre for Judicial Excellence


7. After one-day of constructive deliberations, the participants agreed as follows:

On the Progress Report on the Preparation of the Third Judicial Dialogue it was suggested as follows:

i. That heads of national judicial training centres, representatives of the Inter-American Court on Human Rights, the European Court on Human Rights and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights be invited.

ii. Considering possible budgetary constraints, the Heads of the national judicial training centres may be invited on a self-sponsorship basis.

On the Concept Note of the Third Judicial Dialogue:
It was noted that lack of adequate financing is a huge problem for national courts and African States should consider covering costs of their own institutions.
On the Draft Programme of the Third Judicial Dialogue it was decided as follows:

i. Sponsoring partners and a representative of national judiciaries should be given the opportunity to deliver statements at the opening ceremony.

ii. Considering the importance of ICT and challenges of hacking, a slot should be given in the draft programme for someone to make a presentation on IT security.

iii. The Court should take note of the short period of time that it has (just about two months) to hold the judicial dialogue and identify and inform presenters and moderators as soon as possible.

iv. Sessions three on ICT and four on the Judiciary and experience-sharing from national jurisdictions should be presented successively and sufficient time allowed for discussion.

v. The Chief Justice of Ghana, former president of the court, was proposed to be the Moderator for session six.

On the Concept Note on African Centre for Judicial Excellence it was decided that:

i. It may be important to consider retired judges to benefit from their immense experience

ii. The judiciary does not only deal with human rights but also commercial, family and other matters. It was recommended that the concept note includes such areas on which interest the judiciary.

iii. Further research be undertaken on the concept note before presentation to the Third Judicial Dialogue.

On the Concept note for Online Human Rights Courses on National Judiciaries it was decided that:

i. The Professor who submitted the concept note was alone and a non-African and it was important that she collaborates with an African institution or the programme be managed by the African Court itself.

ii. The successful completion of the proposed human rights course should be certified by ensuring that those who complete the course be given certificates, and the content of the course should include comparative jurisprudence.

iii. The Course will be offered free of charge.

8. The participants expressed their appreciation to the Government and people of the United Republic of Tanzania for their hospitality and the facilities placed at their disposal to ensure the success of the pre-judicial dialogue meeting.

9. The participants thanked the African Court as host and convener of the meeting.

10. Participants expressed their appreciation for the support received from the World Bank, in the organization and hosting of the pre-judicial dialogue meeting.

11. The preparatory meeting was official closed by Honourable Justice Ben Kioko, Vice President of the African Court.

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