The African Association of International Law (AAIL) held its inaugural Distinguished Lecture Series on Monday, December 8, 2014 at The Hague Institute for Global Justice in The Netherlands. The lecture took place under the theme: “The Hague and Arusha: A Tale of Two Criminal Jurisdictions”.
The event started at 18:30pm with an opening remark by Dr. Abiodun Williams (United States of America), President of The Hague Institute for Global Justice, in which he welcomed and thanked participants for braving the bad weather to be present.
This ushered in introductory comments by Dr. Olufemi Elias (Nigeria); who doubles as the Director of the Legal Division at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) The Hague, and the Executive Secretary of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal. He is also the Secretary General of the African Association of International Law (AAIL).
The Keynote lecture was delivered by Judge Fatsah Ouguergouz (Algeria) of the African Court of Human and People’s Rights. This preceded a discussion and Question and Answer session moderated by Dr. Jumoke Oduwole (Nigeria); holder of the Prins Claus Chair in Development and Equity, and lecturer at the Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University, The Netherlands and University of Lagos, Nigeria.
Other members of the panel were: Judge Fatsah Ouguergouz (Algeria) of the African Court of Human and People’s Rights; H.E Judge Sanji Monageng (Botswana), who is the Vice President of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague; and Dr. Professor André Nollkaemper (The Netherlands) of the University of Amsterdam and President of European Society of International Law (ESIL).
The Question and Answer session was characterized by enlightening discussions on ongoing crisis in Africa and their legal implications. The approximately two hour long lecture and discussions rounded up with an entertaining Networking session crowned by delicious refreshments.
The event was graced by various notable guests such as the Ambassador of Algeria to the Netherlands, Her Excellency Mrs. Nassima Baghli and H.E Ambassador Kyriacós Kouros of the Embassy of Cyprus . Other important dignitaries included distinguished Judges such as Judge Geoffrey Henderson (Trinidad and Tobago) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Judge Kuniko Ozaki (Japan) also of the ICC to support their colleague and ICC Vice President H.E Judge Sanji Monageng (Botswana). From the International Court of Justice (ICJ) were ICJ President; H.E Judge Peter Tomka (Slovakia) and Judge (Dr.) Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia), also founder and patron of the African Association of International Law (AAIL).
Judges from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) were made up of Judge Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov (Russia), Judge Mandiaye Niang (Senegal), Judge Bakone Justice Moloto (South Africa) among others. Also present were lawyers of the ICC, ICJ, and ICTY, as well as various members of International organizations and students of law.
It should be noted that the African Association of International Law (AAIL) founded in 1986 by Judge Yusuf of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is one of the first academic societies in the field of international law in Africa. Its objectives are to foster the development and dissemination of African perspectives and practices of international law, through the publication of an African Yearbook of International Law in particular; as well as to assist in the development of international law, recognizing the special needs of Africa.
It also seeks to promote the teaching of international law in Africa, and to encourage and coordinate research on international law mainly through the establishment of research and study groups on specific themes of relevance to Africa.
Below are photos and brief profiles of the main Speakers at the occasion: