Leaders at an African summit have voted to give themselves and their allies immunity from prosecution for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide at a new African Court of Justice and Human Rights. The decision comes as the continent confronts human rights violations and has two sitting presidents and one ousted president facing charges at the International Criminal Court. Amnesty International called it "a backward step in the fight against impunity and a betrayal of victims of serious violations of human rights." "At a time when the African continent is struggling to ensure that there is accountability for serious human rights violations and abuses, it is impossible to justify this decision which undermines the integrity of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, even before it becomes operational," said Amnesty's Netsanet Belay. The decision came Friday at an African Union summit vote in Equatorial Guinea from which journalists were excluded, Amnesty International said. News of the vote was imparted obliquely in a statement Monday night about the summit outcomes. A paragraph listing legal instruments agreed at the meeting included the "Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights." That amendment bars the court from prosecuting sitting African leaders and vaguely identified "senior officials." Forty-two African and international civil society and rights groups had objected to the amendment, noting in an open letter before the summit that the impunity violates international and domestic laws as well as the constitution of the African Union.
This section provides readers with the latest news regarding anti-corruption issues worldwide.
What are the main functions and operations of your agency?
QUESTION #11 FROM OUR SURVEYS
- A review of the literature on ACAs indicates that there is no standard approach or model when it comes to the establishment of an ACA and the definition of its mandate.
- Some ACAs have been created from scratch, while others have built on existing ombudsman offices, special units within police departments, or justice departments.
- The ACAs included in this initiative are no different. The majority of ACAs have some preventive and investigating functions, but prosecution is carried out by less than half.
Apr 09, 2015
The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) was established in September 1994 under the Corruption and Economic Crime Act Model and staffed by the former members of the Hong Kong agency and local personnel. The Directorate is an... Read More
OF COUNTRIES HAVE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAWS
FROM OUR COUNTRY CROSS-ANALYSIS
The existence of anti-corruption laws is the first step in addressing corruption and creating an enabling environment for ACAs to operate effectively. Anti-corruption laws and regulations such as freedom of information, conflict of interest legislation, whistle-blower protection and financial disclosure, can facilitate the investigative and prosecution functions of ACAs.
For this reason, many countries have introduced this type of laws, as the data collected highlights. This may appear encouraging for the seemingly widespread existence of a comprehensive legal system in support of ACAs activities. It is however important to stress that the data presented capture the existence of the laws (“de jure” system) and not whether the laws are implemented (“de facto”).