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July 08, 2021

ABA Conducts First Forum on Court Inspection Missions in CAR

On June 30, 2021 the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) in partnership with the U.S. State Department organized a first forum with the Inspector General for Judicial Services (IGJS) in the Central African Republic (CAR). This activity discussed the results and the issues encountered by IGJS to follow through on its court inspection missions’ outcome in order to lead to concrete actions that could improve the work of the IGJS and the administration of Justice. The opening session to the forum was attended by several notable officials including the United States of America Ambassador to CAR, Mrs. Lucy Tamlyn, and the CAR Minister of State in charge of Justice, the Promotion of Human Rights and Good Governance, Mr. Arnaud DJOUBAYE-ABAZENE. Their participation demonstrated the U.S. and CAR government's ongoing commitment to rule of law.

The US Ambassador remarks acknowledged that this forum was part of efforts that contributed to the justice pillar of a bilateral agreement between the two countries’ governments called “Sustainable Institutions”. She suggested that the US government was ready to continue supporting the efforts of the CAR government to strengthen the rule of law.

In his speech, the CAR Minister of State in charge of Justice, the Promotion of Human Rights and Good Governance indicated his joy to be chairing the first forum on the IGJS’s court inspection missions, emphasizing that the fight against impunity is his main priority. To highlight his commitment, the Minister encouraged proposals to be made to him to take commendable measures with the judicial council to strengthen the accountability of judicial actors. The Minister closed his remarks by mentioning his appreciation to the forum and thanked the US Government, represented by Ambassador Tamlyn, for the support provided to the CAR Government and the Ministry of Justice in particular.

This first forum was organized in response to challenges that were identified by the IGJS during visits to the courts, including challenges related to general court administration underperformances (poor records keeping capability, poor preparedness for investigations, irregularities of court hearings, poor management of prisons, and others. While the IGJS has taken corrective measures to respond to these challenges, practical changes are still to be seen and this weakness is mostly linked to shortness of the accountability of legal actors. The exchange during the forum allowed participants to bring up several observations and recommendations for the situation to improve.

Learn more about ABA ROLI's work across Africa.