CfP: Criminal Justice AND Accountability in Africa (London, October 2017)

Conference on "Criminal Justice AND Accountability in Africa - national AND regional development"

Conceptually, the idea of regional courts, tribunals and individual criminal justice are not new issues. As the youngest regional human rights system, Africa is in a unique position to consider how it can evolve, while taking into account practices of older human rights regional systems. In a relatively short time span there has been an increase in justice mechanisms (both permanent and ad hoc) seeking to address accountability for gross violations. In Africa, these criminal justice mechanisms consist of the establishment of The Extraordinary African Chamber in Senegal, The Special Criminal Court within the Central African Republic, Military Courts in Democratic Republic of Congo trying crimes related to the country’s on-going conflict, the adoption of the protocol to establish The International Criminal Law Section of the African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights, as well as calls for a hybrid court to be established in relation to the conflict in South Sudan.

The conference seeks to bring together insights from across disciplines to engage with emerging trends in regional justice mechanisms in the quest to strengthen justice and accountability for international crimes. The aim is to provide a forum that shifts the discourse away from the devaluing of African initiatives and approaches, while also taking into account gaps and challenges that affect the development of regional criminal justice and accountability systems. The conference will look into the strengths and weaknesses of international criminal law as it has been applied and the potential of regional mechanisms and responses. Although the ICC is not the focus of the conference, consideration will be given to relevant issues that will shape and enhance discussions on regional and national accountability mechanisms. The emphasis is to discuss how regional systems can contribute to the international system and advance accountability and justice. The discussion will focus on regional initiatives and efforts to address criminal liability and end impunity, including reflecting on the trials, courts and mechanisms - both proposed and established at the national, sub-regional and regional levels.

While African systems are the main focus under discussion, the functioning and practices of other regional systems will also be discussed in order to reflect on how justice and accountability are promoted, and the emerging practices and lessons learned.

Papers are welcome on the following themes, but are not limited to:

  • Regional developments on international criminal justice
  • National and hybrid models to achieve accountability and justice
  • African regional efforts
  • The International Criminal Law Section of the African Court of Justice & Human and Peoples’ Rights
  • Addressing accountability and justice in Africa

Publication of papers

There will be an opportunity for selected papers, both from conference attendees and those not attending, to be published in either an edited book collection or a special journal edition.

Submission of abstracts: 15 April 2017

Details to include with submission:

500 - 700 words submitted in word format to with the following information:

  • Title of paper
  • Authors name and affiliation
  • Short bio highlighting any relevant publications

Conference date: 26/27 October 2017

Venue: Queen Mary University of London Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS, UK

Further Information: flyer (pdf)


University of Basel
Centre for African Studies
Rheinsprung 21
CH-4051 Basel
Tel.: +41 (0)61 207 34 82