Continental Conference on Collaboration between the Judiciary and Community Justice Institutions on Access to Justice, in Kigali on 22-24 August 2017.
The main theme for the conference is derived from our vision for a three-fold transformation of Practice, Policy and Perceptions in Judiciary and Community Justice Institutions (CJI) collaboration. The Conference aims to influence attitudes and behaviours across the entire value-chain of justice delivery from the community to the highest courts of the land in order to foster greater synergy, mutual support, and collaboration. It will focus on existing practices (especially good practices) and policies; lessons learnt across different legal jurisdictions (e.g. Anglophone, Lusophone, Francophone and Arabophone); gaps; opportunities; solutions and innovations. Sessions will feature key stakeholders including; CJI practitioners, judges, policy makers, representatives of lawyers, police, development partners, academics, traditional or faith leaders and others.
Background to the conference
The Formal Judiciary System and Community Justice Institutions (CJI) are two complementary systems working towards a common goal, which is “access to justice”. Successful stories have emerged from the collaboration of these two systems on the African continent. Nevertheless, this partnership has not been formalized despite the positive stories recorded as a result of this collaboration.
Countries such as Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and South Africa, to cite a few, have been at the forefront of pushing for a formal collaboration between the Judiciary and Community Justice Institutions.
Because of the immense benefits resulting from the collaboration between these two systems, it has therefore become imperative to formalize this partnership.
The Founding Members of the African Centre of Excellence for Access to Justice, representing five countries, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and South Africa, will be led by Chief Justice Charm of Sierra Leone and Judge President Dunstan Mlambo of South Africa, in convening a Continental Conference bringing together representatives from the Judiciary, Ministries of Justice, Community Justice Institutions and the Academia from eight countries within the African continent. This conference will promote a permanent collaboration between these two systems.
The countries participating in the Continental Kigali Conference include:
– Democratic Republic of Congo
– Sierra Leone
– South Africa
– South Sudan
– United Kingdom
– United States of America
The Conference aims to achieve the following:
1. Defining the context, content and process of collaboration between Community Justice Institutions and the Judiciary.
2. Understanding the policy and legal issues as well as structural and operational factors, e.g. the need to align Community Justice Institutions with constitutional and international human rights obligations (e.g. gender equality, rights of the child, etc.); due process requirements and administrative justice concerns regarding persons with an interest in a matter not being judges in their own cause, impartiality, etc.
3. Reflecting on the practice, achievements and contradictions of Community Justice Institutions and judiciary collaboration (what are the gaps, achievements and setbacks).
4. Analysing the different forms and the emerging best practices and knowledge (e.g. paralegals, traditional and/or customary courts, etc.)
5. Defining a knowledge management architecture and performance management system for the collaboration between the Judiciary and Community Justice Institutions.
6. Identification of requisite capacity development required for Judiciary and other justice delivery mechanisms as well as Community Justice Institution activists.
7. Launch of the African Centre of Excellence for Access to Justice.
Venue and location
The conference will be held from Tuesday, 22 August 2017 to Thursday, 24 August 2017 at the Park Inn by Radisson, KN 41 St, Kigali, Rwanda.
Following three days of deliberations, participants formed the Kigali Declaration on 24th August 2017; which was adopted by consensus at the end of the Conference. Read the full Resolution.