Since 2010, the International Crime in Africa Programme (ICAP) has collaborated with the International Commission of Jurists, Kenya (ICJ-Kenya) to provide annual training workshops for the East African Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (EAMJA) on responding to terrorism, international and transnational crimes.
This initiative is driven by the need to establish a pool of judicial officers with specialised expertise in handling cases emerging from these crimes. This, the third workshop, was held in the Seychelles and hosted by its judiciary.
A total of 21 judicial officers from Burundi, Seychelles, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zanzibar – including the chief justices of Seychelles, Zanzibar and South Sudan – were present.
The purpose of the training workshop was to build on achievements made thus far in responding to these crimes, as well as related recommendations from previous training workshops held in 2010 and 2012.
The overall objectives were to:
- Build upon the previous two training events towards enhancing the capacity of judicial officers in the region to respond appropriately to these crimes
- Discuss the practice of adjudicating terrorism, international and transnational cases and promote trust building among judicial officers within the sub-region
- Promote international cooperation in the region in dealing with terrorism, international and transnational cases
- Discuss ‘real-time’ issues that may arise during the prosecution of offences relating to these crimes
- Enhance awareness of legal processes, improve technical skills and learn from peers and experts in the field
The following areas were covered:
- International criminal justice
The Regional Centre of Intelligence Coordination for Counter Piracy (RAPICC), which is located in the Seychelles, also hosted a visit from the participants. The only challenge worth noting was the non-attendance of Kenya, an important country with regards to the crimes that were covered. The judiciary of Kenya was not able to send representatives due to competing obligations.
The training workshop produced several recommendations, which will be sent to the chief justices of the represented countries. These recommendations focus on the need for continued training and capacity building, and provide specific suggestions to regional judiciaries and states regarding the procedures, laws and mechanisms involved in these investigations.
It was proposed that the 4th EAMJA training workshop be held in Zanzibar in 2014.