Tanzania Daily News Dar es Salaam Arusha Marc Nkwame
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

Chief Justice Mohammed Chande will tomorrow open a symposium to address ‘System for International Justice,’ here.

The Symposium is organised by the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability (AGJA), an organisation that was launched on the sidelines of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Assembly of States Parties in The Hague.

The two-days Arusha symposium is the second AGJA bi-annual events and is scheduled for October 18 through 19, 2016. According to Ms Irene Thomas from the organizing committee, the event has attracted more than 100 human rights activists, experts on international criminal law, and civil society organisations from across Africa and other parts of the world.

Experts on international criminal justice, human rights activists, academics and practitioners from the field of international law are gathering to discuss a range of issues around the theme, “Towards a System of International Justice.”

Some of the critical topics to be discussed over the two days of the symposium will include: The promise and limitations of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and how this relates to Africa; The revival of hybrid tribunals; Domestic justice and universal jurisdiction; African accountability for international crimes.

They will also address a holistic approach to justice; the state of human rights in Africa and obstacles to consolidating a system of international justice and the way forward. As part of its core activities the Africa Group is engaged in regular capacity building activities, and whilst in Arusha will host a two-day workshop from 21 to 22 October, for first responders to scenes of mass crimes.

The participants are human rights field investigators, NGO representatives and media from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The workshop will provide guidance for NGOs in documenting and collecting evidence of crimes under the Rome Statute.

Not only will it discuss problems encountered by NGOs in the past, such as the clash between the dual mandates of human rights advocacy on the one hand, and preparing case dossiers for eventual prosecution on the other. It will also address the problem of missing psychological support for victims and witnesses when taking statements.

While in Arusha, the Africa Group will also take advantage of the opportunity to meet with representatives of various African courts and justice organisations, such as the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the East African Court of Justice, and the UN Residual Mechanism for .

The Africa Group, now consisting of 12 members, has recently been engaged in stakeholder diplomacy meetings with UN Security Council Member States in New York, with the ICC in The Hague, and with the justice sectors of Kenya, South Africa and Namibia.

In March of this year, it held its first bi-annual symposium at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, which was attended by some 150 participants from around the world.

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