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Banjul: ICJ calls for special mechanism on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers in Africa: The ICJ today called for the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (“African Commission”) to establish a special mechanism for the protection and promotion of the independence of judges and lawyers in Africa.

The ICJ made the call in a statement during the public session of the 61st Ordinary Session of the African Commission in Banjul.

The call comes amidst growing threats to the independence of justice in Africa.

In African Union (AU) Member states across the continent, judicial officers and legal practitioners have been targeted for violence and intimidation, or unjustified interference or sanctions.

Recent cases include Burundi, Botswana, Egypt, Lesotho, Libya, Kenya, Swaziland, Zambia, the DRC, Cameroon and Zimbabwe.

The frequency and seriousness of such incidents prompted the ICJ working with the Africa Judges and Jurists Forum to convene a round table meeting in Harare in 2016 to discuss practical steps that could be adopted to minimize the plight of jurists in distress.

The Harare meeting identified the need for a special mechanism for the protection and promotion of judicial independence in Africa, similar to the existing United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.

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Banjul: ICJ calls for special mechanism on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers in Africa: The ICJ today called for the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (“African Commission”) to establish a special mechanism for the protection and promotion of the independence of judges and lawyers in Africa.The ICJ made the call in a statement during the public session of the 61st Ordinary Session of the African Commission in Banjul.The call comes amidst growing threats to the independence of justice in Africa.In African Union (AU) Member states across the continent, judicial officers and legal practitioners have been targeted for violence and intimidation, or unjustified interference or sanctions.Recent cases include Burundi, Botswana, Egypt, Lesotho, Libya, Kenya, Swaziland, Zambia, the DRC, Cameroon and Zimbabwe.