Court trains indigent applicants’ counsels

Saturday July 14, 2018

By Joe Lihundi

Tranquility News Reporter, Arusha

The African Court on Human and People’s Rights has trained 27 counsels registered on its roster from 19 countries on the continent.

The three-day training covered the Regional Normative Framework and Basic Texts of the court, Litigation before the court, the Role of the Parties in Litigation Process and the African Court Jurisprudence.

“It is gratifying to see more women have enrolled and that we have a higher number of female participants this year,” Justice Sylvain Oré, the President of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights

It also delved into Useful Tools, the Implementation of the Court’s Decisions after Judgment, the Legal Aid Scheme of the Court and of the African Union Organ with Human Rights Mandate and a Practitioners Perspective Litigation before the court.

Participants also had an opportunity to participate in and discuss several case studies together with a simulation exercise designed to put into practice and to apply the theoretical knowledge and skills acquired during the training.

President of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Justice Sylvain Oré, launches the Code of Conduct Manual for the court counsels in Arusha, Tanzania, recently.

The overall objective of the training was to enhance the African Human Rights System by promoting knowledge of the judicial procedures of the court among relevant stakeholders.

The court educates and trains counsels it has accepted to represent applicants under its Legal Aid Scheme; acquainting them with its judicial, procedural and operational aspects and updating them on the scheme.

The training of counsels on the Court Roster, which dates back to three years ago, enjoys financial support from the European Union.

“It is gratifying to see more women have enrolled and that we have a higher number of female participants this year,” the President of the African Court, Justice Sylvain Oré, said when officiating at the closing ceremony of the training session at the court’s seat in Arusha, Tanzania, on Thursday.

“It’s the court’s sincere hope that you will appear before it fully equipped to present applicants, either under the court’s Legal Aid Scheme or in your private individual capacities,” he added.

President of the African Court, Justice Sylvain Oré (Right), presents a certificate of participation to Ms Nkasori Sarakikya. Left is the Judge of the African Court Tujilane Chizumila.

Justice Oré called on the participants to spread the word and encourage their colleagues to apply for enrollment on the Court Roster, observing that counsels from Northern, Southern and Western Africa, particularly female, were currently under represented.

“We hope the Legal Aid Fund for the African Union for AU Organs with a Human Rights Mandate will soon become operational to supplement the limited efforts of the Court Legal Aid Scheme,” he said.

The African Court President concluded by quoting Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first female Latina Judge of the US Supreme Court as saying “we educated, privileged lawyers have a professional and moral duty to represent the underrepresented in our society, to ensure that justice exists for all, both legal and economic justice”.

In August last year, the court also trained under a similar programme 35 African counsels on the Court Roster from 25 countries on the continent.

Thirteen counsels from Tanzania, who were not yet enrolled on the roster, attended the training. Eight of them had applied for enrollment and were awaiting the decision of the court.

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