Dialogue remains critical tool to achieve justice – African Court President

Judicial dialogue has been described as a critical tool to achieve justice in an increasingly globalised world.

The President of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Justice Imani Aboud, gave the hint in Zanzibar while delivering an opening remark at a three-day first tripartite judicial dialogue facilitated by Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

The programme is with the support from the Swedish Development Cooperation, Konrad Stiftung, GIZ and the United Nations Office of the High Commission on Human Rights.

The three-day dialogue which will assemble about 30 Judges and over 50 lawyers from the three regional and sub-regional courts, will focus, among others, best practices on enhancing judicial cooperation and protection of human rights on the continent and mechanism for better implementation of court decisions.

The dialogue will be officially opened by the President of Zanzibar H.E. Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi who will deliver a keynote address.

Speaking at the event, Aboud noted that judicial dialogue has for long been part of the practice of domestic courts through case-law borrowing, saying that the system has also been shaped at the regional level in Africa as part of age-long traditions.

She stated further that although the dialogue brought about some daring, provocative and challenging debates about how technology has invaded public discourse, thereby demanding adjustment to judicial dialogue and administration of justice.

Aboud nevertheless insisted that the event would afford the court an opportunity to restate some of the commitments to main tenets of constitutional democracy such as the rule of law, judicial independence, separation of powers, and protection of fundamental rights made ten years ago in Arusha.

Also speaking, the President of the EACJ Hon Justice Nestor Kayobera said the dialogue will provide a platform for enhanced collaboration of the three Courts and other key stakeholders.

Such collaborations, according to him, would be achieved through discussions on various key matters of common interest, including best practices and emerging issues that the Courts encounter while undertaking their mandates.

On his part, the President of the ECOWAS CCJ, Justice Edward Amoako Asante, welcomed the dialogue as a “historic opportunity to build the foundation for a lasting cooperation between the courts and the partners towards strengthening the courts for greater efficiency in delivering on their mandates, particularly in holding the states accountable for their obligations.”

The special guest of honor at the occasion and the President of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, started his speech by describing Zanzibar as a capital of international human rights law and justice.

He said, “I find it fit to begin my remarks by saying how honoured Zanzibar, its Government, and its people are for hosting another international meeting, gathering members of the highest judicial institutions in Africa and other distinguished stakeholders of the rule of law, and justice.

” I would like to personally express my appreciations to the Presidents of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights for inviting me to address this”.

He then charged participants to allow the judicial dialogue to be guided by independence, cooperation and be inspired by vision in order to reactivate the energies and visions of human rights justice in Africa.

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