Since its establishment in 1995, Africa Legal Aid (AFLA) has fulfilled its mission of Making Human Rights a Reality for Africa and its people by strengthening justice sectors including African Civic Publics, Women’s Groups, the Judiciary, The African Human Rights Machinery, the Legal Fraternity, among others. To ensure maximum impact, AFLA has shared its expertise with international bodies mandated to promote accountability and end impunity in Africa and elsewhere by sensitizing them to much needed African Perspectives on Human Rights and International Justice. In this connection AFLA has worked closely with the International Criminal Court (ICC) since its establishment in 2003, and with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), since 2000.
Evelyn A. Ankumah and Luis Moreno Ocampo at AFLA’s Roundtable
Conference at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Feb. 2007
Over the years AFLA has developed an extensive and impressive network of justice advocates, leading academics and opinion leaders, human rights practitioners, gender experts, judges and prosecutors of national, regional and international courts and tribunals. These have become loyal supporters of AFLA and its activities.
AFLA has executed numerous Capacity Building Workshops and Experts Meetings in several countries. We have provided selected and targeted legal assistance to victims of gross human rights violations and assisted NGOs in doing the same. In addition, AFLA has published several editions of its “flagship journal”, the Africa Legal Aid Quarterly and four volumes in each book series.
Judge Navi Pillay and Hon. Dr. Ahmed Fathy Sorour,
during the 1st Expert Meeting in Cairo which prepared the first draft
of the Cairo-Arusha Principles, Egypt 2001
It is of historical importance to note that under the auspices of AFLA the Cairo-Arusha Principles on Universal Jurisdiction in Respect of Gross Human Rights Offences: an African Perspective was adopted. The Principles, coined “the voice of Africa on international crimes” enjoy international recognition and are used for advocacy and lobbying initiatives.
ICC Defence lawyers have credited AFLA and its Executive Director, Evelyn A. Ankumah, for having provided a voice, and platform for defence counsels, notably, at the 13th Session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) of the International Criminal Court. This was the driving force behind the creation of the International Criminal Court Bar Association (ICCBA) in 2016, and its institutional recognition by the ASP. The ICCBA is an independent representative body of counsel for victims and defence at the ICC.
Africa Legal Aid is a recognized and leading voice in human rights and justice developments in Africa. It will continue to provide its invaluable service to translate paper written rights into practical reality for Africa and its people.