The LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa) Class of 2010 graduates on International Human Rights Day
Twenty-nine LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa) students from nineteen African countries graduated on International Human Rights Day. The Class of 2010 was the eleventh group to graduate from this prestigious programme. The following individuals also received their LLD degrees at this ceremony:
- Prof Daniel Bradlow
- Ms Waruguru Kaguongo
- Mr Tarisai Mutangi
- Mr Mwiza Nkhata
Upon completion of the formal graduation ceremony, several other speakers addressed the audience. In his welcoming remarks, Mr Martin Nsibirwa, Project Coordinator of the programme congratulated the graduates and welcomed everyone to the wonderful celebrations.
The keynote speaker at the graduation was Ms Mmatshilo Motsei, Author and Director of Afrika Ikalafe. Mr Nils Jensons, Deputy Head of Delegation, European Union provided supporting remarks as the principal donor. Mme Nicole von Wesphalen, French teacher of the class awarded the Elysee Africa Prizes. Ms Odile Lim Tung, rom the University of Mauritius and Chair of the LLM Council addressed the audience on behalf of the council of the LLM Programme. The class representative of the 2010 class, Mr Mr Mandala Mambulasa gave a few remarks on behalf of the class. The ceremony ended with Prof Frans Viljoen, Director of the Centre for Human Rights, by giving thanks and an overview of the programme. The ceremony was concluded with a meal in the Musaion foyer on the University of Pretoria Main Campus.
The following prizes were awarded:
Nelson Mandela Prize (Shared) for the best academic performance in the 2010 LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)
- Nicholas Wasonga Orago
- Melhik Abebe Bekele
Victor Dankwa Prize (Shared) for the best performance in the Module: Human Rights in Africa in the 2010 LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)
- Nicola Whittaker
- Emerson Casimiro Uassuzo Lopes
Kéba M’Baye Prize for the best dissertation in the 2010 LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)
ubuntu Prize for the student who best embodied the spirit of ubuntu during the 2010 LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)
One-day seminar on the application of International Law in Regional and Domestic CourtsOn 30 November 2010 the Department of Public Law at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, in collaboration with the Centre for Human Rights organised a one-day seminar on the application of international law in regional and domestic courts: Opportunities and challenges.
The seminar brought together 40 academics and practitioners from seven states in northern Nigeria. The seminar was chaired by the Chief Registrar of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, Mr Tony Anene-Maidoh. Presenters included Mr Yunus Ustaz Usman, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Professor MT Ladan, faculty of law, Ahmadu Bello University and Dr Magnus Killander and Dr Solomon Ebobrah from the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria.
Disability Rights Curriculum Development Workshop
A Disability Rights Curriculum Development Workshop was held at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, on 18 and 19 November 2010, aimed at developing the content and approach to teach disability rights to students in Southern African law schools.
The Workshop was organised as a follow-up to a Disability Rights Roundtable, which took place on 26 May 2010.
It was organised as part of Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA)’s Disability and Law Schools Project, which seeks to introduce the teaching of disability rights/law courses in Southern African law schools. Two centres for human rights, Centro de Direitos Humanos (Eduardo Mondlane University) and the Centre for Human Rights (University of Pretoria), co-hosted the Roundtable in Maputo, Mozambique. The Roundtable was initiated and funded by OSISA, working in conjunction with its sister foundation, the Open Society Foundation, South Africa (OSF SA). At the Roundtable, a resolution was adopted to introduce disability rights/law in four countries in the region (Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe).
The participants in the Workshop therefore included representatives from three of these universities. Law lecturers Mr Paulo Nhancale from Centro de Direitos Humanos of the Eduardo Mondlane (Mozambique), Mr Gift Manyatera , Ms Rosalie Kumbira and Mr Mandipa Esau from Midlands State University (Zimbabwe), and Mr Enoch Chilemeba from Chancellor College (Malawi) were participating in order to assist the devlopment of disability teaching at their faculties.
The participants further included experts such as Prof Charles Ngwena from the University of the Free State, Dr Ilze Grobbelaar-Du Plessis from the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, Dr Helene Combrinck from the University of the Western Cape-based Centre for Disability Law and Policy, and Mr Robert Mkozho, a representative of Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD). Frans Viljoen, Magnus Killander and Serges Alain Djoyou Kamga from the Centre for Human Rights also participated.
The aim of the workshop was to devise an adjustable curriculum and course content on the rights of persons with disabilities, to be presented at various levels of law teaching/studies; and as course to practicing lawyers. The workshop participants concluded that the specific aims of a course on disability rights should be to:
- Develop a critical understanding of international and domestic law on disability rights and the limits of the law in Africa;
- Promote awareness of disability as human right issue and as part of human diversity;
- Encourage critical responses to the existing law by developing alternatives conception and theories, with reference to comparative legal norms and jurisprudence; and
- Develop skills and competence to advocate for legal and policy change and improved implementation of disability rights.
At the end of the proceedings, a comprehensive curriculum on disability right in the African context was drafted and is now being finalized by the Centre for Human Rights. It is anticipated that a version of this curriculum will be implemented in the participating universities in the near future.
Centre for Human Rights builds capacity for the implementation of CEDAW in Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Region
Two consecutive training workshops for 60 representatives of government and civil society from 15 countries were conducted from 25 - 28 October and 1 - 4 November, by the Gender Unit with the support of UNIFEM Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Region.
The first course focused on the state reporting process under the CEDAW Convention including the role of civil society. Participants were provided with an overview of the substantive provisions of CEDAW and the obligations of States parties under the convention, including compliance with the reporting mechanism. Key human rights issues in Africa were discussed to illustrate the relevance of CEDAW in the region and the participants engaged in lively debates such as the reconciliation of harmful traditional practices with international standards for the protection of women's rights. Synergies between CEDAW and the Protocol to the Africa Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa were identified. The course concluded with a 'mock CEDAW session' involving the participants as the CEDAW Committee, the government delegation, civil society and the media.
The second course was for regional experts on gender equality from within government and civil society. Given the wealth of expertise amongst the participants, peer-to-peer learning was engaged, whereby participants were requested to prepare, and present, a 15 minute presentation on a designated topic relating to women's rights in their country. Aside from these presentations, the participants also heard from experts on CEDAW, gender and aid effectiveness, the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, and the gender dimensions of HIV.
In each instance, above and beyond class learning, close connections were formed for ongoing sharing of information and best practices in the region.
Workshop on extra-territorial human rights obligations
States does not only have human rights obligations towards their own inhabitants. They also have the duty to ensure that they do not violate the human rights of people abroad. States thus have extra-territorial obligations (ETOs) for example in the areas of investment, trade and development assistance. They must also ensure that their corporations operating abroad do not violate human rights.
In order to discuss these issues and provide input to the process of developing a document on ETO principles, two members of the steering group of the ETO consortium, http://www.fian.org/programs-and-campaigns/projects/the-eto-consortium , met with African stakeholders, including Commissoner Mumba Malila of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, at the Centre for Human Rights on 1 and 2 November. A public seminar 'Globalization, Poverty and Borders: Do States Have Duties to Realize Socio-Economic Rights Beyond Their Own Borders?' was held at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg in the evening of 1 November which further enriched the discussions.
Workshop on developing a model law/ guidelines on access to information in Africa
The Centre for Human Rights and Open Society Justice Initiative in collaboration with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of expression and Access to Information in Africa, Commissioner Pansy Tlakula, held an experts’ workshop in Pretoria, South Africa from 29 to 31 October 2010. The aim of the three day workshop was to take stock of the existing terrain on access to information legislation in Africa, with a view to proposing a common African approach on formulating access to information laws on the continent.
Participants agreed that variations in the scope and content of existing access to information laws and draft laws in Africa, as well as their failure to comply in totality with key principles of access to information, indicates a need for uniform standards on these laws in Africa.
At the end of the workshop, it was decided that a working group of experts be established to work with the Special Rapporteur in developing a model law/guidelines on access to information. These documents will set out minimum standards to guide member states to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights in their adoption of access to information legislation as well as provide uniform benchmarks for evaluating their effective implementation on the continent.
Comments will be invited from the public on the draft model law/guidelines which will be published early next year.
Financial support for this project is provided by OSISA (Open Society Institute for Southern Africa) and OSI (Open Society Institute) Special Initiative Fund.
Invitation to Seminar: ‘Globalization, Poverty and Borders: Do States Have Duties to Realize Socio-Economic Rights Beyond Their Own Borders?’
SAIFAC (in conjunction with the University of Johannesburg Faculty of Law and the University of the Witwatersrand Business School) together with the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and the Extra-Territorial Obligation Consortium cordially invite you to the following seminar on the topic of:
‘Globalization, Poverty and Borders: Do States Have Duties to Realize Socio-Economic Rights Beyond Their Own Borders?’
Venue: Constitutional Court Auditorium, Constitution Hill, Braamfontein
Time: 17:15 for 17:30 – 19:30
Date: Monday 1 November 2010
The following will be the participants in the seminar together with the order of proceedings and topics arising
Chair: Professor David Bilchitz (Director, SAIFAC)
- 1 Introduction to the Extraterritorial Obligations Consortium (ETO) and issues arising
Rolf Kunneman, (ETO and FIAN: Food Firts and International Action Network)
Sisay Alemahu (member of the ETO Consortioum and doctoral student, Abo Akademi)
- 2 The African Commission's Working Group on Extractive Industries and the potential of extraterritoriality
Mumba Malila (Chair of the Working Group of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights on Extractive Industries)
- 3 Panel: Three cases studies of extraterritorial application of socio-economic rights: Kenya; Nigeria; and Zambia
Angela Mulenga (African Network on the Right to Food, RAPDA)
Louiza Kabiru (Kenya Human Rights Commission)
Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri (SERAC, Nigeria)
- 4 Discussant: Prof Danny Bradlow, SARCHI Chair, International Development Law Unit, Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
We look forward to your participation in this event.
If you wish to come, please RSVP to Dolores Joseph at
Centre for Human Rights and Legal Resources Centre call on member states of the AU, the South African government and African human rights institutions
The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria and the Legal Resources Centre, together with the participants at the African Human Rights Day Celebrations, held on 21 October 2010, make the following call:
1. We call on all member states of the African Union that have not yet done so, to ratify all African Union Instruments, in particular the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women, the Protocol to the African Charter on the Establishment of the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.
2. We call on the South African government to make a declaration under article 34(6) of the protocol on the Establishment of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ rights, allowing individuals and NGOs direct access to the continental Court. Only four AU member states (Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mali and Tanzania) have so far made such declarations. As a leader in the field of human rights on the continent, South Africa should join these states, thereby further committing itself to reinforcing the legitimacy of the African human rights framework.
3. We note the potential of customary law as both enhancing or undermining the rights of women. We urge African human rights institutions, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Children’s Rights Committee to encourage the development of living customary law to bring it in line with the Charter and related instruments. We acknowledge the significance of this development for the protection of the rights of vulnerable and previously disadvantaged groups, including – but not limited to – indigenous peoples and women. When submitting their state reports under the African Charter, and particularly under the African Women’s Protocol, states should be mindful of this aspect and provide the relevant information to the Commission.
4. The two organisations as well as many other civil society organisations, are ready and eager to engage in discussions with the government on any of these issues.
19th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition in Cotonou, Benin
Every year the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition is organised by the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria in partnership with another law faculty on the continent.
In 2010, the competition was co-organised by the Centre and the Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Benin and was held in Cotonou from 4 to 9 October.
Fifty six universities coming from 26 countries attended this unique event on the human rights calendar in Africa. This year, there were 38 Anglophone teams, 15 Francophone teams and 3 Lusophone teams. Three universities participated in the Moot Court Competition for the very first time: University of Gambia, Christian University of Uganda and University of Parakou in Benin. Thus, students from all around the continent had the opportunity to interact with other students coming from all over Africa. Each year, students argue a hypothetical case based on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. This year, the hypothetical case dealt with the issue of polygamy, human rights violations in initiation schools and the criminalisation of HIV/AIDS. The inclusion of the issue of HIV/AIDS has led UNAIDS to offer its support to the Centre for Human Rights. This support, which is the beginning of a long term co-operation is articulated around the specific issue of youth and HIV/AIDS. The competition consists of preliminary rounds in English, French and Portuguese. The four best English and the two best French teams are recomposed into two teams (applicant and respondent) for the final, where they argue before prominent lawyers and international human rights experts. The following teams advanced to the final: Université d'Abomey-Calavi, Benin, University of Lagos, Nigeria and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana together argued for the applicant while Université de Cocody, Côte d'Ivoire, University of Namibia, Namibia and Rhodes University, South Africa argued together for the respondent.
The following personalities sat as judges during the final of the 19th Moot Court Competition: Advocate Robert Dossou, President of the Constitutional Court of Benin; Advocate Reine Alapini Gansou, Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights; Dr David Padilla, Former Assistant Executive Secretary, Inter-American Human Rights Commission; Dr Hélène Lambatim Nadjilengar, Vice President of the Economic and Social Council of Chad and President of the Chadian Women Lawyers Association; Mrs Nana-Oye Lithur, Director, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Ghana; Justice Johann van der Westhuizen, Judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa; and Dr Farida Mamad, Faculdade de Direito, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Moçambique. The final took place at the Palais des Congrès, one of the most prestigious venues in Cotonou. The team which argued for the respondent was declared the overall winner of the 19th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition (Université de Cocody, Côte d'Ivoire, University of Namibia, Namibia and Rhodes University, South Africa). The closing ceremony was organised just after the final round. Speakers included Dr Victor Topanou, the Academic Secretary of the Unesco Chair of the Université d’Abomey-Calavi; Dr Grunitsky Bekele, Regional Director of UNAIDS and Prof Frans Viljoen, Director of the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria. In his closing speech, Prof Viljoen congratulated and thanked the local organising team for their efforts in making the 19th Moot Court a reality in Cotonou. The efforts of the local organising team were recognised by the award of the newly established Gill Jacot Guillarmod Prize which was instituted to recognise the effort of host universities to ensure a smooth running of the competition.
The final results, top rankings and photographs of the competition are available on the official Moot Court website.
The 20th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition will be held at the University of Pretoria, South Africa in 2011.
Centre alumnus Yoseph Mulugeta wins a Human Rights Watch award
It is with a great sense of pride that the Centre for Human Rights congratulates Mr Yoseph Mulugeta Badwaza for being awarded the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism in 2010. The award which Yoseph Mulugeta received is named after Alison Des Forges who was a historian turned human rights activist. Des Forges is credited with contributing to the recording of the Rwanda genocide of 1994. The award is presented by Human Rights Watch.
© 2010 Gary Fabiano
Yoseph Mulugeta from Ethiopia is an alumnus of the Master of Laws (LLM) in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa. The LLM programme is one of the flagship programmes of the Centre for Human Rights. Yoseph Mulugeta attended this intensive one year programme in 2005.
Prior to his admission to pursue the LLM programme Yoseph Mulugeta worked as a law clerk at the Federal First Instance Court in Ethiopia. He then worked as an attorney for the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia. Between 2000 and 2003 he was a legal researcher at the Justice and Legal System Research Institute. In October 2003 he was appointed head of monitoring, research and public litigation at the Ethiopian Human Rights Council a position he held until his admission to the LLM programme.
Upon completion of the LLM programme he returned to the Ethiopian Human Rights Council where he rose to the position of Secretary-General.
Civil society organisations in Ethiopia have been adversely affected by the Charities and Societies Proclamation which bars most from doing their work effectively. Despite these challenges Yoseph Mulugeta has been relentless in advocating for human rights in his country. The Centre for Human Rights is proud of his ongoing contribution to the cause of human rights.
For further details see: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/10/04/human-rights-watch-honors-six-activists
Africa Human Rights Day Celebration
Workshop on adressing customary law as a regional human rights issue: The protection of the girl child in domestic and regional courts.
The Legal Resources Centre and the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria invite you to attend a workshop to mark the celebration of Africa Human Rights Day.
Date: Thursday, 21 October 2010
Venue: Conference 100, Sanlam Conference Centre, Main campus, University of Pretoria
- Advocate Ann Skelton (Director, Centre for Child Law, University of Pretoria)
- Prof Michelo Hansungule (Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists)
- Dr Benyam Mezmur (Member of the Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child)
The event will be followed at 18:00 by a cocktail reception.Please RSVP by Friday 15 October 2010 to:
Tel: (021) 481 3000 • Fax: (021) 423 0935
Tel: (012) 420 3810 • Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743
Workshop on the use of international law in domestic courts in West AfricaAs part of the International Law in Domestic Courts (ILDC) project a Workshop on the use of international law in domestic courts in West Africa was held on 8 October 2010 in connection with the 19th African Moot Court Competition in Cotonou, Benin. The workshop was organised by the Centre for Human Rigths, the Amsterdam Center for International Law and the West African Bar Association. The workshop brought together practising lawyers from the region, both from Anglophone and Francophone countries.
In addition some of the law lecturers from across the continent which had judged the preliminary rounds in the moot court competition earlier in the week attended the workshop. After welcoming remarks by Prof Frans Viljoen, Director of the Centre for Human Rights, Dr Antonios Tzanakopoulos, a lecturer at the University of Glasgow and ILDC Associate Editor, made a presentation on key issues in the relationship between international law and municipal law. His presentation was followed by Dr Solomon Ebobrah, a post-doctoral research fellow at CHR and ILDC West Africa Coordinator who discussed judicial dialogue with a focus on the importance for all courts whether national or international to consider relevant jurisprudence from other courts, whether national or international. Aquinaldo Mondlate, a doctoral researcher at the University of the Western Cape, gave perspectives on the use of international law in Southern Africa. The session was chaired by Prof Danwood Chriwa from the University of Cape Town.
The following session was chaired by Dr Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua from the University of Ghana. Horace Adjolhoun a legal consultant from Benin presented on the experience of Francophone national courts in West Africa with regard to the use of international law. Femi Falana, a legal practitioner from Nigeria with extensive experience in human rights litigation before Nigerian courts as well as before the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, made a presentation on the use of international law by courts in Anglophone West Africa. After lunch Pierre Ahiffon from Benin presented judicial perspectives. After some discussion on various issues raised in the presentations, Dr Magnus Killander from the Centre for Human Rights presented ILDC online and other relevant resources and encouraged the participants to share relevant human rights cases from their respective jurisdictions.
Domestic Courts as the 'Natural Judge' of International Law: A Change in Physiognomy
Antonios Tzanakopoulos, University of Glasgow School of Law
Application of international human rights law in domestic courts in West Africa
Femi Falana, Falana & Falana's chambers, Lagos, Nigeria
The use of International Law in domestic courts: Experiences from Southern Africa
Aquinaldo Mandlate, LLD Candidate University of the Western Cape (UWC) South Africa
African Development Bank Appoints Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) Roster of Experts Chair
The African Development Bank board of directors on September 17, 2010, appointed Prof. Daniel D. Bradlow as the chairperson of the IRM roster of experts. Prof. Bradlow joined the IRM Roster of Experts in 2007, and he led IRM’s first investigation into the Bujagali projects in Uganda. He also played an active role in the IRM review which resulted in the current IRM operational rules and procedures.
Prof. Bradlow, a South African national, is the SARCHI Professor of International Development Law and African Economic Relations at the University of Pretoria in South Africa and a Professor of Law at American University of Washington’s College of Law in Washington D.C. He is a member of the board of directors (International Lawyers and Economists against Poverty (ILEAP)) and is the co-rapporteur of the International Law Association’s Study Group on Accountability of International Organizations. He has consulted for a number of international organizations, lectured widely on the public and private aspects of international development law, and has published articles and books on a range of topics, including accountability of international financial institutions, regulatory frameworks for dam safety and financial institutions and global economic governance. Prof. Bradlow holds degrees from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, and from Northeastern University and Georgetown University in the USA and is a member of the New York and District of Columbia bars.
Invitation: Public Conversations - Where is South Africa today?
Presented by the University of Pretoria's Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Law as well as the Mail & Guardian.
Join some of SA’s most respected speakers for this exciting conversation series designed to encourage public intellectual activity at UP and in the broader community.
Download the invitation to this event
|The Public Conversations Series includes the following events:|
- Are Media Restrictions Necessary?
Tuesday, 5 October, 17:30-19:30 (RSVP by 24 Sept) - Sanlam Auditorium, Conference Centre, Hatfield, University of Pretoria
- What is Academic Freedom?
Monday, 11 October, 17:30-19:30 (RSVP by 1 Oct) - Sanlam Auditorium, Conference Centre, Hatfield, University of Pretoria
- What Makes Us South African?
Monday, 25 October, 17:30-19:30 (RSVP by 15 Oct) - Musaion Theatre, Hatfield, University of Pretoria
RSVP and find detailed information at:
Enquiries: 012 420 4895
Seminar on International Law and Human Rights Litigation in Southern Africa
As part of the International Law in Domestic Courts (ILDC) project a Seminar on International Law and Human Rights Litigation in Southern Africa was held at the Centre for Human Rights on 17 September 2010. Around 40 lawyers from 12 SADC member states participated in the seminar. The seminar was opened by Prof Christof Heyns, the dean of the faculty of law. The morning session focused on the use of international law in domestic courts and was chaired by Yvonne Mokgoro, former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and Extraordinary Professor at the Centre for Human Rights.
Prof Erika de Wet from the University of Amsterdam/University of Pretoria and editor-in-chief of the Oxford Reports on International Law in Domestic Courts made a presentation on the relevance of the use of international law before domestic courts. Thereafter Lloyd Kuveya, a project lawyer at the Southern African Litigation Centre presented on challenges to the use of international human rights law before domestic courts in Southern Africa. Magnus Killander, Head of Research at the Centre for Human Rights and ILDC Associate Editor for Africa introduced ILDC Online, www.oxfordlawreports.com and other useful African resources such as the African human rights case law database, located at www.africancases.up.ac.za . Marco Kalbusch, deputy regional representative of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights introduced relevant UN databases online. Prof Michelo Hansungule from the Centre for Human Rights made a presentation on litigation socio-economic rights in common law jurisdictions. The morning session ended with group discussions on national cases where the participants intended to or had used international law arguments.
The session after lunch was chaired by Solomon Ebobrah, a post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Human Rights. Presentations were made on taking a case to the United Nations (Marco Kalbusch), African Commission and Court (Frans Viljoen, Director of the Centre for Human Rights) and the SADC Tribunal (Frank Pelser, advocate of the Cape Bar). The aim was to make the participants aware of the different procedures available when litigation is unsuccessful at the national level. Willie Spies from Hurter Spies Attorneys in Pretoria made a presentation on enforcement of the SADC Tribunal's judgments with a focus on the Campbell case while Tarisai Mutangi, a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Human Rights, looked at problems with enforcing decisions of international human rights monitoring bodies more broadly. After the seminar a cocktail reception was held at the newly established Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa.
International Law and Human Rights Litigation in Southern Africa
Prof Dr Erika de Wet, LLM (Harvard)
Challenges to the use of international human rights law before domestic courts in SADC
Lloyd Kuveya, Project Lawyer
Submitting a case to the UN Human Rights Procedures
Marco Kalbusch, OHCHR - ROSA
Litigating Zimbabwe Cases: Enforcement of the Campbell judgment
Willie Spies, Hurter Spies Attorneys
Bringing a case to the SADC Tribunal
Frank Pelser, Advocate, Cape Bar, Cape Town
Training for Somali police oversight body
On 19 September the Centre for Human Rights held a training course on policing and international law for 12 members of the Somali Police Advisory Committee (PAC) based in the part of Mogadishu controlled by the transitional government. The PAC consists of police officers and members of civil society and were in South Africa for training organised by the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum. The training session organised by the Centre for Human Rights focused on international norms with regard to arrest and detention, conditions of detention and the use of force by law enforcement. The trainers were Prof Frans Viljoen, Prof Michelo Hansungule, Dr Magnus Killander, Mr Gus Waschefort and Mr Mohammed Farah.
Download the press release
Lecture by Barbara J. Holden-Smith
The Centre for Human Rights, the international Development Law Unit and the Institute for International Comparative Law in Africa of the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invite you to a lecture by Barbara J. Holden-Smith, Vice-Dean and Professor of Law at Cornell Law School , known for her groundbreaking work in the United States Supreme Court History and Practice, on 'The African-American Influence on the Jurisprudence of the United States Supreme Court.
Date: Tuesday 5 October 2010
Time: 12:00 - 15:00
Venue: Moot Court, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
Presentation on the Protection of Information Bill
You are invited to a presentation on the Protection of Information Bill by Lauren Hutton from the Institute for Security Studies on Monday 30 August at 5.30 pm in the lecture hall of the Centre for Human Rights (2-2.1).
Date: Monday 30 August 2010
Venue: Lecture hall, 2-2.1,
(opposite the entrance to the Centre for Human Rights)
Invitation to a research discussion
Professor Abdul Paliwala from the University of Warwick will present a paper entitled 'How and how not to measure (in)justice!' at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria.
Date: Tuesday 31 August 2010
Time: 10.30 to 12:00
Venue: Lecture hall, 2-2.1,
(opposite the entrance to the Centre for Human Rights)
Roundtable on the application of international law in regional and domestic courts: Opportunities and challenges
As part of the International Law in Domestic Courts (ILDC) project a roundtable discussion was held at Munyonyo Commonwealth resort, Kampala, Uganda on 29 July 2010. Judges from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Southern Sudan participated in the roundtable discussion.
The roundtable was opened by Hon Justice Laeticia Kikonyogo, Deputy Chief Justice of Uganda, who highlighted the important role of the judiciary in strengthening the rule of law in Africa. She called for judges to be pro-active and use international law even if not referred to by advocates. ILDC associate editor, Dr Antonios Tanzakopoulos, from the University of Glasgow, made a presentation on the relationship between international and domestic law. He highlighted that international law no longer only regulates the relationship between states, but also requires states, including domestic courts, to take measures to ensure compliance with international law. He noted that even if international law formally does not form part of the law of the land, courts should always aim for consistent interpretation.
Hon Justice Irene Mulyangonja Kakooza of the High Court of Uganda presented a paper on judicial application of international law in Uganda and highlighted the importance of online resources, such as ILDC, where judges can easily find relevant case law. Dr Henry Onoria, an advocate and lecturer at Makere University, made a presentation on Ugandan courts and international law from the perspective of the practitioner. This was followed by presentations by the Hon Justice John Wol Makec, Chief Justice of Southern Sudan, Hon Justice Lawrence Kaduri of the High Court of Tanzania, Hon Justice John W Mwera of the High Court of Kenya, Diomède Vyizigiro, President of the Burundi Court of Appeal and Hon Justice Adolphe Udahemuka, judge of the Intermediate Court of Karongi in Rwanda. In their presentations and the discussion that followed, the judges agreed on the importance of making use of international law where relevant and made reference to cases from their jurisdictions where international law had been used.
After lunch Dr Magnus Killander from the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria made a presentation on the use of international law by domestic courts in Southern Africa, while Dr Solomon Ebobrah, a post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Human Rights and ILDC West Africa coordinator made a presentation on the approach of courts in West Africa to international law. Thereafter Hon. Lady Justice Stella Arach-Amoko, Deputy Principal Judge of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) introduced the work of the EACJ. Hon Justice Joseph Mulenga, judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights made a presentation on the work of the Court. Dr Killander showed ILDC online and invited the participating courts to make use of this resource which is freely available to all African institutions. Dr Tzanakopoulos wrapped up the discussions which continued over a cocktail at the shore of Lake Victoria sponsored by the Chief Justice of Uganda.
Roundtable on application of International Law in Regional and Domestic Courts: Opportutnites and Challenges
Compilation of the programme and papers
International Human Rights and the Courts in Uganda
Irene Mulyagonja-Kakooza, Judge of the High Court of Uganda
Application of International Law in Domestic Courts: Perspectives from Practice
Henry Onoria, Senior Lecturer, Department of Public and Comparative Law, Faculty of Law, Makerere University
Future application of International Law in the Southern Sudan
Justice John Wuol Makec, President of Supreme Court of Southern Sudan
Relationshop between the domestic courts and regional and sub-regional courts
Hon Lady Justice Stella Arach-Amoko, Deputy Principal Judge, East African Court of Justice
International law and domestic human rights litigation in Africa: An introduction
Magnus Killander, Head of research, Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria & Horace Adjolohoun, Research fellow, Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
Centre's LLM alumnus elected by the African Union to continental children’s rights body
Benyam Dawit Mezmur, a 2005 graduate of Master of Laws degree (LLM) in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa at the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Human Rights Centre, was elected a member of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights of the Child at the African Union (AU) meeting currently under way in Kampala, Uganda.
Mezmur, an Ethiopian national, was nominated by his country to become part of the committee which consists of eleven members from different countries. The committee oversees the implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (Africa Children’s Charter) by different state parties. So far, 45 out of 53 AU member states have become party to this charter.
The African Committee of Experts on the Rights of the Child meets twice a year to observe the situation of children on the continent. It also promotes awareness about the charter and the children’s rights issues in Africa. In particular, the committee studies reports by member states of the African Children’s Charter about the steps and measures they have taken to effectively implement the charter. The committee also considers petitions drafted by individuals from various member states regarding a violation of the charter by a state.
Benyam Dawit Mezmur holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the Addis Ababa University and completed his LLM on Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa from the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. As the LLM programme (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa) requires a student to spend his or her second semester of the one-year programme at one of eight partner universities across the African continent, Mezmur spend his at the Community Law Centre at the University of Western Cape (UWC) – which is one of the eight partner institutions. After obtaining his LLM degree at the University of Pretoria, he continued with his Doctor of Laws (PhD) at UWC and completed his doctorate with a focus on the African Children’s Rights Charter. He dealt with issues pertaining to children’s rights such as child soldiers, children in conflict with the law, intercountry adoption. He has published on these issues in local and international journals.
The Director for the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, Prof Frans Viljoen has congratulated Mezmur, who is the centre’s first graduate of the LLM programme to be elected to the continental human rights body. “ His excellent and most appropriate academic background, vigorous enthusiasm and energy, maturity and objectivity will no doubt enable him to fulfil his duties competently, independently and even-handedly”, said Prof Viljoen.
Prof John Dugard is awarded the 2010 Gruber Foundation International Justice Prize
The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, takes great pride in congratulating Professor John Dugard with the award of the 2010 Gruber Justice Prize. This Prize is awarded to the champions of historically oppressed populations.
Prof Dugard has since 2007 been appointed as Professor of Law at the Centre, where he has taught on the LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa) and short courses presented by the Centre. He also holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Pretoria.
Professor Dugard’s award is most appropriate. He has been a trail blazer for human rights in South Africa. During the dark days of apartheid, he took a leadership role both as an academic and advocate. His seminal book, Human rights and the South African legal order, is a landmark in the academic discourse on human rights in South Africa.
Professor Dugard has, as an academic, been recognised with the highest research rating given by the South African National Research Foundation. His text, International law: A South African perspective, is the leading text in its field, and has guided the studies of a generation of South African law students.
At the international level, Professor Dugard has, as a member of the International Law Commission, played a crucial role in the development of international law; and as Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories worked tirelessly to bring the human rights dimensions of this situation to international attention.
As an advocate, he pushed the boundaries of the possible with innovative litigation to benefit victims of apartheid. His founding of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1978 was a pivotal step to ensure that activism be fused with academic work in the service of social engagement of universities in South Africa.
The students of the Centre for Human Rights have over the years joined many others who have benefited from Professor Dugard’s inspirational and thought-provoking teaching and engagement. The combination of academic excellence and enduring commitment to a fairer, more equitable and just world are the true legacy of Prof Dugard, and will remain a continuous source of inspiration and encouragement for us at the Centre for Human Rights.
The Centre also congratulates the other recipients of the 2010 Gruber Justice Prize. In particular, we note with appreciation, the role of Justice Michael Kirby in consistently foregrounding the importance of human rights in the context of HIV and AIDS, and the importance of international human rights law in the adjudication of domestic courts.
It is particularly significant that the award is made on 16 June - the commemoration of the Soweto Massacre in the anti-Apartheid struggle, and now a public holiday known as Youth Day - symbolising his commitment to issues of justice and equality and his focus, as an academic, on young people / lawyers.
Sur Journal welcomes contributions until June 30th
The 13th issue of the Sur Journal, in partnership with the Centre for Legal and Social Studies (CELS, Argentina) and the University of Pretoria (South Africa), will address the following issue: Regional Mechanisms for the Protection of Human Rights.
Seminar: Exploring the emerging human rights mandate of regional communities in Africa
On 29 April the Centre for Human Rights organised a seminar entitled 'Exploring the emerging human rights mandate of regional communities in Africa'. There are eight regional economic communities (RECs) in Africa recognised by the African Union as the building blocks of the future African Economic Community.
Some of these have taken on a mandate to promote and protect human rights. The seminar explored the human rights work of three RECs, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Dr Solomon Ebobrah, a researcher at the Centre for Human Rights, explored the human rights work of ECOWAS and raised the question of complementarity with the work of the African Union. Dr Christopher Mbazira from Makerere University in Uganda explored the work of the East African Community pointing out that the East African Court of Justice contrary to the ECOWAS Court of Justice does not have an explicit human rights mandate. He explored the case of Katabazi v Uganda where the Court relied on the provision in the EAC Treaty on the rule of law to find that Uganda had violated the Treaty by not respecting the decisions of its own judiciary.
Tarisai Mutangi, a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Human Rights, set out the human rights mandate of SADC and its Tribunal. Willie Spies, a lawyer from Pretoria, then explored the SADC Tribunal's most famous case, Campbell v Zimbabwe, with a particular focus on the efforts to enforce the order of the Court in Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Scholarship established in loving memory of Gill Jacot Guillarmod
In loving memory of Gill Jacot Guillarmod, Senior Project Manager and Liaison Officer of the Centre for Human Rights from 1 May 2001 to 15 January 2010, in deep appreciation for her role to the academic and other programmes of the Centre, and in recognition of her humanity and humour, which left a profound impression on everyone whose lives touched hers, the Centre for Human Rights in 2010 established the Gill Jacot Guillarmod Scholarship.
Download the regulation document of this scholarship
LLM class bids farewell to Prof John Dugard
Prof John Dugard is an extraordinary professor of the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, where he lectures on the LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa) programme as well as the Good Governance Programme. Professor Dugard has since 1997 been a member of the United Nations' International Law Commission (ILC). He previously served as the UN's Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Palestine.
Prof Dugard hold various academic positions, among the the Directorship of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge. Prof Dugard holds an honorary from a number of universities, including the University of Pretoria. He is an NRF A-rated scholar and he has published very widely and is currently working on an update of International Law: A South African perspective.
PULP (Pretoria University Law Press) launches Socio-Ecnomic Rights Series
On Tuesday 8 December 2009, Pretoria University Law Press (PULP) and Community Law Centre (CLC) held a book launch with an African theme launching PULP’s “Socio-Economic Rights Series” which consists of 6 titles:
This was an occasion with a difference. A very large audience listened attentively under the stars to the brief addresses made by the various authors before they tucked into a menu designed specifically to capture the spirit of socio-economic rights. Corn on the cob, samp and beans, pap and vleis served on tin plates were heartily enjoyed by all present.