African Court moves to engage state judiciaries

The Third Continental Judicial Dialogue opened Thursday in Arusha, Tanzania with a call to State judicial organs to fully integrate into the African Judicial Network to ensure efficiency in how justice is applied on the continent.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the event which is being hosted by the African Court for Human and People’s Rights (AfCHPR) Clement Mashamba a member of the African committee of experts on rights and welfare of children said a more proactive approach by State judicial instruments in adopting legal elements that are being applied at the continental level is key.

He said at the opening of the dialogue themed ‘Improving Judicial Efficiency in Africa’ that legal bodies at state, regional and continental level had to find common ground in dealing with similar cases where it grants the country’s citizens a right.

He said: “The committee believes that in order for decisions of continental judicial and quasi-judicial bodies to be implemented at the national level, national judiciaries have to play a central role.

“This is principally because national judiciaries form the inner core of the protection of human rights at the domestic level.”

The dialogue under the support of the World Bank and Germany’s development arm—GIZ—has drawn over 300 delegates from the African Union (AU) member states and other judicial players from around the world.

Emphasising the need to keep up with the changing times AfCHPR president Justice Silvain Ore said time had come for the judicial player in Africa to embrace new technologies to ensure efficiency in justice service delivery.

“As you might be aware that the world is changing and technology is now at the hub of all operations. We in the justice sector must keep abreast with the changing times by finding means how you utilise these modern innovations to efficiently provide justice services to many people who are failing to get the same on the continent,” he said.

Vice-president of the Court of Justice Ben Kioko called for a speedy implementation of all agreements that member states who are party to the court’s protocol made in order to deal human rights violations across the continent.

Malawi is a full member of the African court where the country grants rights to its citizens and civil society to access justice from the court on any human rights relates cases that the country’s judiciary has not been able to deal with despite being given the chance.

Recently the country has seen quite a number of human rights violations that have made headlines across the globe such as the killings of alleged bloodsuckers, albinos and the failure to protect the rights of the elderly and the girl child.

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