The rule of law and good governance are fundamental to ensuring the fairness of society and is characterized by transparency and accountability in both the public and private sectors. Such transparency and accountability may only prevail if a functioning judicial system is in place, acting as one of the cornerstones of a society. Populations need an efficient legal system in order to resolve disputes in all forms and guarantee an impartial application of laws and rules, as enshrined in the rule of law.
By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:
- Demonstrate a deepened understanding of the importance of the rule of law;
- Identify the main challenges to achieving the rule of law in their countries;
- Classify the main principles of human rights law;
- Explain the link between human rights and criminal law with the help of relevant case law;
- Analyse the nexus between the rule of law, human rights and transitional justice;
- Discuss the role women can play in the entire legal sphere.
The workshop will be a three-day programme with each workshop day devoted to one of the core topics: rule of law, human rights and transitional justice.
Day 1: The Role of National Mechanisms/Institutions in the Enhancement of the Rule of Law
The session will examine the normative and institutional aspects of the development and implementation of the rule of law in Africa, notably:
- the role of constitutionalism, separation of powers and citizen participation in public affairs, including the gender and youth perspectives;
- the role of the parliament and the judiciary in the enhancement of the rule of law.
A practical exercise will be organized consisting in the development of a national plan action for the implementation of the rule of law based on constitutional provisions of 4 countries (in 4 working groups). It will be followed by reports/discussions in a plenary session.
Day 2: African Human Rights Bodies and the Rule of Law
The lectures/presentations will focus on the case-law of the two regional human rights bodies with regards to the rule of law. The workshop intends to examine:
- The role of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in the implementation of the rule of law in Africa;
- The role of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in the implementation of the rule of law in Africa.
A simulation will be organized in plenary on the review of the situation of human rights and the rule of law in an African country facing an armed conflict by the African Union Peace and Security Council at a special session, based on the existing exercise already developed and experienced in the training workshop on human rights diplomacy (Addis Ababa, November 2019). Participants will play the role of representatives of their respective countries at the special session.
Day 3: Transitional Justice, the Rule of Law and Fight agains Impunity in Africa
The workshop plans to discuss transitional justice as an instrument for the implementation of the rule of law and the fight against impunity through:
- The review of origins of transitional justice and its development in Africa, the applicable universal principles, as well as their contextualization through the African Union’s Transitional Justice Policy adopted in February 2019;
- A comparative review and assessment of experiences of transitional justice in Africa, including both international and national mechanisms (International Criminal Court; International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; Special Criminal Courts; revived traditional justice systems; truth and reconciliation commissions, etc.).
Participants will discuss the role of the transitional justice on their own countries, the link between the transitional justice and other jurisdictions like the International Criminal Court in Africa and the perspectives of the Criminal Section of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights in a plenary session.
The training programme is tailored for diplomats from countries accredited at UNON, priority being given to Least Developed Countries’ diplomats. The workshop will be designed for up to 30 participants, with a maximum of 2 participants per Permanent Mission.
The workshop will take place from 21 to 23 April 2020 at the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) Kenya.
The workshop will be conducted in English. Participants will be provided with a set of training material at the beginning of the event. Certificates will be awarded to participants who have successfully followed the workshop in its entirety.