regional stakeholders’ consultation on Emerging Trends on Complementarity is
currently underway at a hotel in Kololi. The meeting, which is series of its
kind to be held in region, is being organised by Africa Legal Aid in
collaboration with the Attorney General’s Chamber at the Ministry of Justice.
Morten Kjaerum, director, Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, expressed delight and honour to be part of the co-organisers of this international confab.
“It is a pleasure to be back here in Banjul. I think my first time here was back in the beginning of 90s, working with the then very young African Centre for Human and Peoples Rights.”
Kjaerum acknowledged that they have come a long way and a lot has happened since then and now, recalling that last year when ICC was awarded with a prestigious human right prize; a question was asked to what extend ‘we could imagine a world without the ICC’. And the resounding reply from the audience was no.
However, he maintained that ICC is here to stay, adding that the foot prints it has made is already remarkable and cannot be brushed aside.
He expressed his institution’s delight to co-host this important confab in Banjul.
In his keynote statement, Hassan B. Jallow, the chief Justice of The Gambia, thanked the co-organisers for choosing The Gambia to host what he described as an important conference on Emerging Trends on Complementarity.
“It is perhaps a fitting venue given our current pre-occupation in this country with issues of justice, accountable as well as reconciliation. It is also fitting that periodically we review the trends in complementarity and we explore ways in which that fundamental principle of international justice can be further strengthened for the future of justice and accountability. For that future lies ultimately, on the extent which we can give concrete reality to the principle of complementarity.”
Crime and criminality today, CJ went on, has always constitute a major violation of human rights and a major challenge to individual wellbeing both physically, spiritually as well to the security of individual rights and to the stability and continued cohesion of communities.
Evelyn A. Ankumah, executive director of Africa Legal Aid (AFLA) explained that complementarity is a term usually used in relation to the International Criminal Court, as the Rome Statue expresses it technical terms in Article 17;
“The court shall determine that a case is inadmissible where; the case is being investigated or prosecuted by a state which has jurisdiction over it, unless the state is unwilling or unable genuinely to carry out the investigation or prosecution.”
Justice Fatoumatta Dambele Diarra, who works at the Supreme Court of Mali and former first vice president of the International Criminal Court, also spoke at the ceremony.
The event was graced by diplomats, civil society organisations and victims of Jammeh Era, among others.