Access to African Supranational and Regional Law Workshop, 5-6 November 2012

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AfricanLII partnered with the United Nations Development Programme in Johannesburg, to conduct a workshop on free and open access to the law and policy produced by treaty bodies and organs of the regional economic communities in Africa. Our objectives for the workshop were:

  • to set the scene for dialogue, exchange and stronger links between African regional law producing bodies and open access publishers of legal information in Africa, and
  • to produce a strategy for the widest dissemination of African legal information using information and communication technologies.

The proceedings of the workshop, and its outcome document, are published on this page. 

Sunkarie Ballah-Conteh, ICTR's Policies and Practices with respect to Legal Information

Sunkarie Ballah-Conteh of the (ICTR) spoke about the policy and practical implementations of access to the Tribunal’s jurisprudence. She invited participants to contact the ICTR to discuss best practices.

Magnus Killander, Lack of access to information in African regional inter-governmental organizations

 

Lack of access to information in African regional inter-governmental organizations

Seminar on  ‘Access to African supranational and regional law’, Johannesburg, 5 November 2012

Dr Magnus Killander, Senior Lecturer and Head of Research, Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria

Michael Murungi, Open Access to Public Legal Information – Thoughts and Lessons from Kenya

 

Open Access to Public Legal Information – Thoughts and Lessons from Kenya”

 

A Presentation By

Michael M. Murungi

Editor/CEO

 

At the

Access to African Supranational and Regional Law

Hosted by the African Legal Information Institute, a project of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre

Roger Gachago, The Southern African Legal Information Institute

Roger Gachago spoke about the genesis and development of SAFLII. User statistics show the website is well utilizied at present. Roger presented a graph that shows the dramatic increase in unique visitors over the lifespan of the project. The need for access to law is there and increasing. LIIs seem to be good at providing access to the law.

See slides.

Flavio Zeni, Access and ICT Opportunities

Flavio Zeni spoke about the different levels of access, moving away from document dissemination to information dissemination. The power of XML to transform documents and ready them for multiple channels distribution and for multiple uses in a variety of services. Interoperability and use of standards will facilitate the use of information on a regional and national level. It is the only path that makes sense for regional intergration.

See slides.

Watna Horemans, The African Human Rights Case Law Analyser A Collection of decisions from the African Human Rights System

 

The African Human Rights Case Law Analyser

A Collection of decisions from the African Human Rights System

 

Overview and project history

 

The African Human Rights Case law Analyser is an online database that gathers jurisprudence and instruments of the African Human Rights system. It is a joint project of the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) and Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems (HURIDOCS).

Kerry Anderson, Feedback Loop for the Law

Kerry Anderson demonstrated the Feedback loop for the law project as a one that relates to the regional context as well. Popular participation is already built into the mechanisms of many regional and treaty bodies, ICTs can facilitate communications to CSOs and ordinary citizens.

See slides.

Outcome Statement of the International Conference on Access to African Supranational and Regional Law

 

Outcome Statement of the International Conference on Access to African Supranational and Regional Law

 

Held in Johannesburg, South Africa on 5 and 6 November 2012

 

Opening Remarks by Evelyn Edroma, Policy Advisor, Access to Justice and Human Rights, UNDP Regional Service Centre in Johannesburg

 

Opening Remarks by Evelyn Edroma, Policy Advisor, Access to Justice and Human Rights, UNDP Regional Service Centre in Johannesburg

 

On behalf of the UNDP Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa, I welcome you to South Africa. I hope that you had comfortable flights and are settled well in the hotel.

 

Mariya Badeva-Bright, Free Access to Regional Law in Africa

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Mariya Badeva-Bright spoke about the parallels that can be drawn between the difficulties for access to the law at a local level and on the regional level. AfricanLII has developed a programme of assistance for national LII's that can be adapted to the regional environment. the LII movement in Afria, with the help of others, could serve as regional loci of expertise to build and support capacities at African treaty bodies and RECs.

See slides attached.

Chief Justice Egonda-Ntende, Access to the Law: Remarks to the Access to African Supranational and Regional Law Seminar, 5-6 Johannesburg, South Africa

 

Access to the Law

by

Fredrick Egonda-Ntende

5 November 2012

 

[Remarks to the Access to African Supranational and Regional Law Seminar, 5-6 Johannesburg, South Africa]

 

Introduction

Thomas R. Bruce, The practical side of high principles: a lowbrow view

 

The practical side of high principles: a lowbrow view

Thomas R. Bruce ( tom@liicornell.org)

Director, Legal Information Institute

Cornell Law School

Emi MacLean, Right to Information and Access to Legal Information

Emi MacLean dealt with the following issues:

  • Key principles of the right to information
  • Why RTI matters
  • RTI law and practice in Africa
  • Proactive disclosure and relevance for access to legal information

See the attached slides for the full presentation.

Anneke Meerkotter, Challenges and Opportunities for Access to Regional Law - a Practitioner's View from Southern Africa

Anneke Meerkotter's view is the legal and policy information from regional and treaty bodies in Africa:

Tererai Mafukidze, Access to African Supranational and Regional Law

Tererai Mafukidze's presentation stressed on the importance of access to law for economic development. Tererai introduced the participants to the concept of Free Access to Law , the LIIs and the Montreal Declaration on Free Access to Law. 

See slides for further details.