A symposium bringing together international and local experts on international criminal justice and organised crime opens in Kigali today.
Bringing together non-governmental organisations, academics, legal experts and members of civil society, the meeting is expected to explore the current state of international criminal justice, its links with transnational organised crime, and national and regional efforts to deal with these crimes.
The two-day meet is organised by the Wayamo Foundation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice, with the financial support of the German Federal Foreign office.
Wayamo Foundation is an independent, non-profit organisation established to strengthen the rule of law, promote international criminal justice and foster transparency through informed journalism.
In November 2015, the Foundation launched the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability, an independent group of senior African experts on international criminal law and human rights, whose main goal is to strengthen justice and accountability measures in Africa.
The symposium will open with a Network Meeting of Directors of Public Prosecution and Heads of Criminal Investigation Departments from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda, where participants will discuss how the rule of law can be strengthened by ensuring effective investigation and prosecution of complex crimes and intensifying inter-agency collaboration at the regional level.
Impact of global justice
Participants are expected to discuss the impact of international, regional and domestic justice systems; achieving justice through International Crime Divisions; universal jurisdiction; witness protection; cybercrime; linkages between transnational organised crime and core international crimes; and judicial networks.
This will be followed by an international public symposium tomorrow under the topic, “International Crimes, Domestic Justice – Accountability and Capacity Building in East Africa,” co-hosted by Prosecutor-General Jean-Bosco Mutangana, and Inspector General of Police Emmanuel Gasana.
The Director of Wayamo Foundation, Bettina Ambach, told The New Times that the symposium plays a significant role in fighting impunity.
“This is the third installment in our two-year Eastern Africa project. This is our first time in Kigali after hosting two events in Arusha, Tanzania. The objective of the project is to fight impunity by helping to build the capacity of East African investigators and prosecutors as they tackle international and transnational crimes,” she said.
Guest speakers and panelists include Adeniran Akingbolahan, the rule of law advisor to the Vice-President of Nigeria; Gerard Niyungeko, a judge and former president of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights; Gerhard van Rooyen, a senior manager at victims and witnesses section at the International Criminal Court in The Hague; Mike Chibita, the director of public prosecutions of Uganda; and Sarah Kihika Kasande, the head of International Centre for Transitional Justice in Uganda.
Others are Stella Ndirangu, the head of the International Justice Programme of Kenya; and Tora Holst, the former chief public prosecutor of the Swedish Specialised International Crimes Unit.