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Sections

AAILP’s SECTIONS

 CLIMATE, NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENTAL LAW SECTION (CRDE) 
          

This section is headed by Jean-Didier BOUKONGOU. (boukongou@yahoo.fr)

The Climate, Natural Resources & Environmental Law section (CRDE) was created in 2018.

This section was born amidst the fight against global warming’s international context. Climate change poses a threat to population rights, particularly to certain categories already very vulnerable, such as women, indigenous people, poor farmers or people living in traditional societies. Certain international projects and investments affecting the climate in developing countries generate serious social and environmental risks for local communities and indigenous people. There have been many cases of violation of land rights, human rights and environmental degradation related to mining or forestry projects, for example. Moreover, some projects promoted as solutions to the climate emergency are in fact causing social, health and food issues for populations.

Over the last twenty-five years, the international climate regime has evolved significantly. Since its signing in 1992, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has triggered two subsequent legally binding agreements and several financial mechanisms to advance climate action. Under the Convention, several major international climate conferences have been convened, which have built global awareness about the imperative for a collective response to the climate crisis. As the regime has evolved, so too has the thinking behind it; countries have increasingly recognized that climate change is not solely about emissions reductions, but that it has a social dimension.

The Paris Climate Conference (COP21) holds a special role in the history of the fight against climate change. It gave rise to the Paris Agreement, which entered into force on 4 November 2016. Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change, a situation that is exacerbated by the interplay of “multiple stressors” including heavy reliance on agriculture, widespread poverty and limited capacity to adapt. Due to climate change, the poorest populations, particularly in Africa, become aware of their economic vulnerability. Beyond issues directly related to mitigation and adaption, the African continent must, inter alia, face the depletion and inequitable distribution of natural resources, posing significant threats to the environment.

This section aims at bringing together African and foreign legal practitioners in a comparative and transdisciplinary approach. It is intended to be a forum for discussion and exchanges on societal, economic, human and environmental issues related to these subjects and offers legal expertise drawing on the skills of its members and its scientific and industrial partners and to develop and use a body of international law to effectively address the threat of climate change while promoting a just and sustainable society.

Overarching objective

– Contribute to strengthening African states’ capabilities to effectively address climate change and climatic variability in the implementation of policies.

Specific objectives

– Building the capacity of managers and experts on climate change.

– Building the capacity of managers and experts on incorporating climate change into National Agricultural Investment Programs and Plans (PNIA).

– Building the capacity of managers and experts on climate negotiation.

The project will enable the training of a critical mass of national trainers, allow knowledge dissemination related to climate change and strengthen the …

The course offered enabling the understanding of the key characteristics of climate negotiation. Practice-oriented thanks to the study of concrete case studies and taught by leading experts and practitioners in international negotiation.

Some activities:

1: STRENGTHENING THE CAPABILITIES OF AFRICAN COUNTRIES TO NEGOTIATE AND INCORPORATE CLIMATE CHANGE INTO SECTORAL POLICIES

Partnership:

The CRDE section not only relies on the expertise of its legal practitioner members, as well as learned societies and research institutes in pursuit of similar purposes with which it cooperates, but also on all its scientific and industrial partners. For any partnership project, please contact the Section President, Jean-Didier BOUKONGOU (boukongou@yahoo.frJean-Didier).

Capacity building:

Countries in need of capacity building on climate change in the context of climate change negotiations in their capacity as Parties and in the preparation of their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) for the Conference of the Parties, please contact directly the Section President, Jean-Didier BOUKONGOU (boukongou@yahoo.frJean-Didier).

Becoming a member:

For anyone wishing to join the CRDE section, in order to be updated on its activities and participate in the research projects or public or closed events it organises, please send a cover letter and a curriculum vitae to (info.academie.apdci@gmail.com or boukongou@yahoo.fr).

 

AFRICAN BORDERS GOVERNANCE AND LITIGATION SECTION

This section is headed by Yacouba CISSE. (Ycisse2009@yahoo.fr)

This section’s establishment has been the subject of considerable preparatory work by African and foreign international experts and legal practitioners. Since its first edition in November 2017, the Annual Symposium of the African Academy for International Law Practice and its second edition held on 10 October 2018; Litigation of African maritime territories: issues, challenges and strategies and its third edition on 25 September 2019, Litigation of African maritime territories, in all its aspects, the Academy has seized this strategic topic related to Africa’s future and debates it annually by embarking on a new, demanding investigation of the place of the borders program (“programme frontière”) in the implementation of the African Union’s 2063 Agenda.

The development of uncontested and peaceful borders constitutes an essential pre-requisite for the progress of regional integration and hence for Africa’s economic development. The persistence of conflicts in Africa is rooted in the existence of border disputes between several countries, the inequitable distribution of natural resources. The interplay between borders’ regulation and that of peace is intensifying.

The intangibility of the borders inherited from colonisation, accepted in principle, is problematic in many instances in respect of its enforcement. Usually, issues arise due to the imprecise nature of the border boundaries, which are based on geographical, topographical and sociological considerations poorly understood during the colonial period and which have hardly been clarified, confirmed and delineated on the field over the past 60 years. Despite the fact that a significant number of disputes have been settled by agreement or through third-party intervention (arbitration, international tribunals…), there is no doubt that most of the land borders and maritime territories’ delineations have yet to be resolved, particularly with regard to the continental shelf, where most of the natural resources lie.

On the one hand, the world economic development prompts states to rethink their borders in terms of flexibility and cooperation. On the other hand, even in customs and economic unions, borders remain the most prominent display of a state’s sovereignty over its territory.

Moreover, uncertainty about borders constitutes a real obstacle to the acceleration of integration processes. To date, only a number of delimitation treaties have been concluded between African states and not all of them have entered into force..

Less than half of the world’s maritime boundaries have been settled upon, but the numbers on the African continent are far lower than this averag. The African Union had first set 2010, and then 2017, as the deadline for African states to delimit their land and maritime borders.To date, however, only 30% of the continent’s borders have been delimited or demarcated.

Several maritime delimitations are still undefined, notably due to the complexity of particular geographical coast configurations of some states. Undelimited maritime boundaries coupled with abundant disputed seabed resources raise the spectre of conflict in the African continent.

The rise of globalisation has led to a “maritimisation” of the economy bearing a dual impact in Africa. On the one hand, the surge in maritime transport, the discovery of off-shore hydrocarbons, the coveting of African fishery resources; and on the other hand, the rise in maritime insecurity or maritime crime: maritime piracy, maritime terrorism, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (INN), which follow this globalisation process. In this context, the main issue has therefore become securing the sea. With its 38 coastal or island states, out of the 54 member states of the AU, Africa remains a maritime continent, whose gross domestic product is largely dependent on ocean trade. Indeed, 90% of imports and exports are carried by sea and many of the most strategic maritime trade corridors cross Africa’s maritime territory.

This section aims at bringing together African and foreign legal practitioners and a range of stakeholders, practitioners and researchers to cast a fresh light on major international judicial precedents from African case-law in a comparative and transdisciplinary approach. It is intended to be a forum for discussion and exchanges on issues and challenges and offers legal expertise drawing on its members and partners’ skills.

  1. Strengthen the regional integration dynamics driven by the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and other large-scale regional initiatives.
  2. Study procedures of peaceful settlement used for each of them, with the ultimate aim of identifying their uniqueness, specificity and adaptability to the different categories of conflicts.
  3. In the interest of legal pragmatism, it is important to draw lessons that will help promote improvement in the adoption of procedures and their evolution.
  4. Lead workshops and high-level seminars on mediation and dispute resolution mechanisms, trusted by the parties on the basis of concrete case-studies to be analysed.
  5. Training of trainers.
  6. Challenges facing small island-states in Africa.

Partnership:

The section not only relies on the expertise of its legal practitioner members, as well as learned societies and research institutes in pursuit of similar purposes with which it co-operates, but also on all its scientific and industrial partners. For any partnership project, please contact the Section President, Yacouba CISSE. (Ycisse2009@yahoo.fr).

Becoming a member:

For anyone wishing to join the section, in order to be updated on its activities and participate in the research projects or public or closed events it organises, please send a cover letter and a curriculum vitae to Yacouba CISSE. (Ycisse2009@yahoo.fr)

 

INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION SECTION

This section is headed by Jean Baptiste HARELIMANA, Lawyer, admitted to the Nanterre Bar (Jbharelimana.avocat@gmail.com)

Arbitration and non-judicial forms of dispute resolution exist to provide parties with flexible means of settling their conflicts. This is particularly significant for both international business and foreign inward investment, where a mix of different legal cultures and nationalities, the risk of protracted litigation and uncertainty as to final cost may render recourse to national courts unattractive.

At the same time, the hallmarks of efficiency traditionally associated with arbitration have been called into question, with increasingly long drawn out and resource intensive arbitral proceedings and the adoption of presentational strategies and challenges that owe more to the adversarial trial

The section organises conferences and symposia on African arbitral institutions. It carries out projects on major contemporary issues related to commercial and investment arbitration from an African perspective. The section also undertakes high-level research with its partners for the improvement of its stakeholders’ activities.

Partnership:

The section not only relies on the expertise of its legal practitioner members, as well as learned societies and research institutes in pursuit of similar purposes with which it co-operates, but also on all its scientific and industrial partners. For any partnership project, please contact the Section President, Jbharelimana.avocat@gmail.com).

Becoming a member:

For anyone wishing to join the section, in order to be updated on its activities and participate in the research projects or public or closed events it organises, please send a cover letter and a curriculum vitae to Jbharelimana.avocat@gmail.com.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE SECTION

This section is headed by Mutoy MUBIALA (luc.mubiala@gmail.com).

The section organises conferences and symposia on the trends and challenges of human rights and international criminal justice in Africa. It carries out projects on topical contemporary issues related to regional and AU institutional law from the perspective of the operationalisation of the Court of Justice of the AU. The section also undertakes high-level research with its partners for the improvement of its stakeholders’ activities.

Partnership:

The section not only relies on the expertise of its legal practitioner members, as well as learned societies and research institutes in pursuit of similar purposes with which it co-operates, but also on all its scientific and industrial partners. For any partnership project, please contact the Section President, Mutoy MUBIALA (luc.mubiala@gmail.com).

Becoming a member:

For anyone wishing to join the section, in order to be updated on its activities and participate in the research projects or public or closed events it organises, please send a cover letter and a curriculum vitae to Mutoy MUBIALA (luc.mubiala@gmail.com).

CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA SECTION (ZLEC)

ZLEC provides an unprecedented opportunity for African countries to unify the continent’s trade landscape and develop intra-African trade. With regard to dispute settlement provisions, it is recommended that member states first resort to a non-contentious method of dispute resolution. If the non-contentious methods do not produce any result within six months, a ZLEC Dispute Settlement Committee could be entrusted with the resolution of the dispute. Appeals could then be heard by the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which would convene a commercial chamber or set up ad hoc committees for this purpose. The question of the type of dispute settlement mechanism to be applied under the ZLEC is a critical one. The choice is between establishing a permanent jurisdictional mechanism or linking it to the existing mechanism – the African Court of Justice and Human Rights – with the risks that this entails in view of the specifics of international trade disputes. It now seems appropriate for any present or future international business law practitioner to be familiar with the underlying drivers and stresses in this area, as well as the improvements that can be achieved.

For anyone wishing to join the section, in order to be updated on its activities and participate in the research projects or public or closed events it organises or participates in, as well as the  his advocacy , please send a CV and cover letter to info.academie.apdci@gmail.com