Convened at the initiative of the Sudanese judiciary, the three-day Conference is attended by chief justices and high courts chiefs from forty African countries in addition to guests from China, Indonesia, India and other countries.
In an address before the opening session, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir called for formation of an African court of justice that could reach fair verdicts based on evidence not political fabrications. He called on the conferees to develop the African judicial system making use of the continent traditions and values. He said Harvard University has included the Sudanese native administration ways of solving disputes (reconciliation and mediation) in it’s the academic syllabus of its faculty of law.
Held under the auspices of Sudan’s Chief Justice Haidar Ahmad Dafa’alla, the conference will seek the creation of an alliance to resolve disputes, coordinate stances in international forums and seek alternative ways for resolving disputes, in keeping with the principles of the independence of the judiciary.
Conferees will also discuss matters related to human trafficking, cross-border crime, money laundering and terrorism.
The Conference is perceived to propose suitable mechanisms to bolster Africa’s judiciary bodies’ efforts to curb these crimes through continued coordination among the member states.
“Combating these crimes is no longer the responsibility of individual countries.We are seeing well organized crimes with their theatres overlapping many countries,’’ stated Dafa’alla.
“That is why we should concert our efforts to eliminate these crimes; and the Conference is hoped to come out with suitable recommendations to this effect,’’ he said.
Justice Sawsan Shendi, Dean of the Institute of Judicial and Legal Studies, has considered the Conference “ a unique event in the African region as it would avail chances for the exchange of expertise and experiences in judiciary work, a matter that could help achieve justice.’’
She said the Conference would tackle a lot of legal matters, foremost the African experiment in the resolution of disputes and any alternative means that can be adopted in this regard.
The Conference will also review a number of papers reflecting the judicial experiments of some African states, she said, adding that the Conference is ‘’ a good opportunity to arrive at solutions that help control cross-border crimes such as terrorism and human trafficking.’’
Shendi also said the Conference would further discuss ways for advancing the African judicial system.
Chairman of the Sudanese Bar Association al-Tayyib Haroun has considered the Conference ‘’an unprecedented congregation‘’ which, he said, “would perpetuate the principles of the rule of law and independence of the judiciary.’’
Attorney Adil Abdelghani has considered the Conference ‘’a historical event and a judicial summit conference which is no less than the AU Summit Conference.’’
“The AU Summit is the peak of the executive authority and this Conference is the summit of Africa’s judicial authority,’’ Abdelghani further explained.
He added that the Conference would endeavor to create a pan-African judicial cooperation that could eventually make of Africa an integrated judicial unit, thanks to telecom revolution that now engulfs the World.
Director of The International Centre for Human Rights Ahmad al-Mufti welcomed the Conference as “unprecedented.”
Mufti said Sudan can exchange expertise with other African countries and can benefit from experiments of countries that apply different judicial systems. The Conference, he added, can contribute ideas that can stem transnational crime and can lay foundations for the extradition of criminals among member states.
The Conference organizing committee plans to hold a symposium every night where legal scholars can exchange thoughts.
Mr. David Hoile, an expert on international law, takes part in the Conference.
High Court Justice Fayza Ali Eisa said the Conference would be accompanied by an exhibition reflecting the independence of the Sudanese judiciary over the years. The exhibition also reflects the technological progress witnessed in the Sudanese judiciary where a good deal was made towards the automation of judicial work. In addition, the exhibition would put on display some aspects of the Sudanese folk art and the Sudanese social life.
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