The Criminal Justice Club attends the International Justice Symposium

By Millicent Mudiwa

On May 19,2023, the Criminal Justice Club had the privilege of attending the International Justice Symposium organized by the Wayamo Foundation and the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability (AGJA) in partnership with the Graduate School of Media from Aga Khan University. This symposium offered an invaluable opportunity to delve deeper into the complexities of the war in Sudan and explore the potential paths toward resolution, mainly through the lens of Transitional Justice. In a world marked by ongoing conflicts and human rights abuses, the pursuit of justice becomes a crucial element in post-conflict societies. The war in Sudan in 2023, with its devastating consequences, has captured the attention of many. This was an opportunity for CJS Club members to engage with experts in the field through networking and knowledge sharing through a global lens.

The Criminal Justice Club members gained valuable insights from exploring aspects such as measures and mechanisms employed to address past human rights violations, promote accountability, and facilitate the transition from conflict to peace. Discussions were also around international criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations, institutional reforms, and memorialization efforts. While these processes aim to rebuild trust, heal societal divisions, and prevent the recurrence of violence, they must also consider the specific needs and challenges faced by marginalized and vulnerable groups when it comes to Transitional Justice.

The key take-aways from this symposium that the club members learned are as follows: it is challenging to navigate the complexities of transitional justice in a rapidly changing world. Secondly, there is an essential need to recognize and address the concerns of marginalized and vulnerable groups during transitions. Lastly, it is vital to incorporate a comprehensive and inclusive approach while working towards building a more just and equitable society.

The symposium brought together experts in International Criminal Law including Mark Kersten, International Criminal Lawyer, Serge Brammertz the United Nations Mechanisms Chief Prosecutor, Nema Milaninia the Special advisor to the U.S ambassador at large for Global Criminal Justice, Mikel Delagrange an International Criminal Justice and Victims expert at the foundation and Ms. Zaynab Bangura the Director General of the United Nations Office in Nairobi who gave the opening remarks and Ms. Navi Pillay, the Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and African Group for Justice and Accountability reminded us of the importance of daring with facts, confronting unasked questions, and striving to make a lasting impact on transitional justice and international justice.

“Let us embrace this challenge and contribute to a world where justice is perceived holistically, leaving no one behind”, was the last phrase that the Wayamo Foundation Director said. Indeed, just like the club’s vision, “The heights yield to endeavor” students were driven to actively engage in activities that promote justice, such as advocating for human rights, working towards equality and fairness, addressing social injustices, or supporting legal reforms. They did so through networking with the various seasoned professionals and organisations which were present at the symposium.

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