The fifth African Judicial Dialogue being organised by the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights opened in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania with a call for broader engagement on adjudication for the benefit of the people.
The two-day 2021 judicial dialogue is on the theme: “Building trust in African Judiciaries.”
Representatives of national supreme courts from across the continent, presidents and judges of regional and sub-regional courts, representatives of the African Union, lawyers and researchers and representatives of human rights institutions are attending the meeting.
Lady Justice Imani Daud Aboud, President of the African Court, explained that the theme must be seen from the point of view of relations between courts and court users as well as relations between judicial actors.
“Whether in domestic or international justice, the question of trust is paramount. It is a guarantee of stability and security for any society. Trust means that judicial institutions gain credibility and overcome any hint of crisis.
“Without trust, no judicial institution can adequately accomplish its task and is, therefore, bound to be criticised by all sides.
It is, therefore, imperative, as much as possible, to act in a manner that does not erode trust,” the African Court President stated.
She noted: “in this regard, it is important to address the issue of independence and impartiality, corruption, effectiveness, and efficiency of the judiciary as well as the issue of a permanent dialogue between the judges, all of which are essential factors of trust in domestic or international courts.”
Lady Justice Aboud said the general objectives of the fifth African Judicial Dialogue, therefore, was to enable African judiciaries to play their full role, in particular by building lasting trust not only between justice system actors but also between the justice system actors and court users.
Dr Robert Eno, the African Court Registrar, explained that dialogue sought to identify major obstacles to trust in the justice system in Africa, assess the impact of the lack of trust in the justice system on African societies and reflect on ways and means to foster sustained trust in the justice systems.
It would also serve as a platform to discuss ways and means to make the African judiciary network effective.
The delegates would also discuss, issues relating to the administration of justice, the rule of law, judicial cooperation and the protection of human rights on the continent.