Cross section of participants at the Third African Judicial Dialogue
Cross section of participants at the Third African Judicial Dialogue

The Third African Judicial Dialogue opened in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania on Thursday with a reminder to the judicial community in Africa, that the importance of justice in achieving stable societies can never be downplayed to a mere slogan.

“Timely justice that is administered without fear or favour has become a customary shared value across democratic societies, nations, regions and cultures; however, the globalization of minimum core values of the right to justice has taken an inversely proportional slow course.

“This state of affairs has left connections between courts at all levels loose, random, minimal or even inexistent to the paradoxical disadvantage of rights-holders who are the beneficiaries of our mandate,” Justice Sylvain Ore told the Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult (CDA Consult) in an interview on the sidelines of the African Judicial Dialogue.

Justice Ore who is the President of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights noted that one challenge in giving life and flesh to justice as a breeding ground for political stability and socio-economic development is not so much the limited appreciation of that undisputable fact among the relevant stakeholders.

“It is rather that, for far too long, the frontline actors of our justice systems have insufficiently comprehended that, a key prerequisite for successfully providing justice as a fundamental human rights is systematic and constant communication between administrators of justice whether national, sub-regional, continental or international,” he stated.

The African Court President noted that the Continental Judicial Dialogue has however renewed hopes in the sense that it has created a platform for judicial actors to open their “problem-box”.

“I am glad to note that such courageous endeavour has led to opening two most promising avenues for strengthening judicial interconnections in Africa.

“First, a project aiming at building convergence in judicial knowledge – sharing across the continent is now being conceived; and second, we have set the tone towards matching our ambitions with the order of the day by placing technology at the heart of quality justice delivery,” the African Continental Court President stated.

Third African Judicial Dialogue, organised by the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights under the auspices of the African Union (AU).

The Dialogue is being attended by about 150 delegates from AU Member States- including Chief Justices, Presidents of Supreme and Constitutional Courts from the 55 AU Member States, as well as regional and international judicial bodies and other relevant stakeholders.

The biennial meeting is on the general theme: ‘’Improving Judicial Efficiency in Africa’’ and is a follow up to the first edition held in November 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania, and second in November 2015, also in Arusha.

The overall objective of the Dialogue is to explore ways of enhancing judicial efficiency in Africa.

It also serve as platform for Africa’s top judiciary officials to exchange experiences on the on-going continental judicial reforms, trends on human rights jurisprudence, continuing judicial education and management of judicial institutions on the continent.

The African Judicial Dialogue is organized in collaboration with the World Bank, the German Cooperation (GiZ) and the European Union (EU).

Source: CDA Consult

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