AU Explores Ways to Resolve Legal Challenges Africa is Facing

ADDIS ABABA – The 20th Ordinary Session of the African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL) kicked off at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, with a hope to contribute in resolving some of the legal challenges Africa is currently facing, the AU says on Tuesday.

Addressing the Meeting, Judge Ismael Hersi, AUCIL Deputy Chairperson, stressed on the need for Africa to fully participate in the construction and structuring of the new world order.

“Considering the collective work within our body and the individual expertise of each of the members, I would like to call for more increasing visibility of the AUCIL as a consultative body within the AU, and to the increase in the number of issues that should be submitted to our body for legal advice by political bodies” Hersi said.

Created in 2009, AUCIL is an independent advisory organ to the AU on matters of international law.

It also undertakes activities relating to codification and progressive development of international law in Africa with particular attention to the laws of the AU.

Ambassador Tesfaye Yilma, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the AU, said as a continent, Africa has managed to develop consensus on various issues through the adopted regional instruments and, in turn, these instruments have made a positive contribution to international law.

The AUCIL, as an advisory body to the policy organs of the Union, has a unique opportunity to study various issues in the context of existing legal frameworks and accordingly advise the union, Tesfaye added.

According to the AU, the AUCIL Session will deliberate on different items on its agenda including: Election of the Bureau, presentation and discussion of the Inter-Sessional Activities of the Bureau and Members, and the ongoing African Union Institutional Reform.

The Session will also consider and discuss a number of ongoing legal studies on political, economic and social issues in African, including African convention against slavery, and the prohibition on intervention in international law,

The Session will consider draft model law for the domestication of the African charter on the rights and welfare of the child study and codification of comparative mineral and petroleum law in Africa, international environmental law and domestication of the protocol to the African charter on human and people’s rights on the right of women in Africa.