Webinar: Safeguarding rights — Accountability and oversight in the time of COVID-19

Date: Wednesday, 26 May 2021 | Time: 13h00—15h00 (GMT)

The challenges posed by COVID-19 were often described as “unprecedented”; the ways in which States responded, around the world, have been dramatic. In many places, extensive new powers have been sought—or often just taken—and systems designed to ensure the protection of fundamental human rights have in many cases been left to catch up.

This panel will explore some of the issues around the derogation and limitation provisions in international rights instruments, what activates these provisions, how we build in safeguards and sunset clauses and what special considerations need to be factored into policymaking, especially for different parts of the criminal justice system (for example in corrections facilities, or in designing temporary developments such as in camera hearings). Outside of the criminal justice system, broad concerns have been voiced concerning privacy, as well as the continued exercise of fundamental rights such as the right of peaceful assembly.

Simultaneous interpretation will be available in English, French and Spanish.

Speakers include:

Prof. Frans Viljoen (chair); Director, Centre for Human Rights
Hon. Solomon Dersso; Chairperson, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Prof. Fionnuala ní Aoláin; UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism
Prof. Hélène Tigroudja; UN Human Rights Committee
Pedro Vaca Villareal; Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

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Webinar: Model Law for Police

Date: Thursday, 22 April 2021 | Time: 08h00 (GMT)

This webinar, co-hosted by PAP and APCOF, will bring together Africa’s law makers, practitioners and its human rights overseers to discuss what prospects a model law holds for the continent, and how can this can complement the efforts of the African Commission on Human and People Rights and the African Union.

Register in advance for this webinar:

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0tVqVW-sS- e9cGUsNYj3Zw

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Webinar: Deaths in police custody

Date: Friday, 23 April 2021 | Time: 10h00 – 12h00 (SAST)

The factors that contribute to deaths in police custody are numerous and complex, and are both internal and external to SAPS. They include the treatment of suspects and detainees by SAPS members, the lack of health and other services available to detainees at station level, poor conditions of detention, and deficits in the effectiveness of both internal and external accountability mechanisms.

The African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF) together with the SAHRC are marking Africa Pre-Trial Detention Day on 25 April by presenting this webinar to provide a forum for the key stakeholders – SAPS, IPID, the NPM and civil society – to unpack these complex issues and identify a way forward.

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A simplified version of the principles on the decriminalisation of petty offences in Africa – PORTUGUESE

A Comissão Africana adoptou esta nova norma legal porque estava preocupada que certas categorias de pessoas – incluindo aquelas que são pobres ou de outra forma socialmente excluídas – podiam ser injustamente atingidas por infracções menores. Mais concretamente, a Comissão Africana estava preocupada que a existência e execução das infracções menores podia violar os direitos que são protegidos pela Carta Africana dos Direitos Humanos e dos Povos (‘a Carta Africana’), incluindo a não discriminação (Artigo 2°), liberdade e segurança (Artigo 5°) e a não detenção arbitrária (Artigo 5°).

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A simplified version of the principles on the decriminalisation of petty offences in Africa – FRENCH

La Commission africaine a adopté ces nouvelles normes juridiques parce qu’elle craignait que certaines catégories de personnes, y compris les pauvres ou les personnes qui connaissent autrement l’exclusion sociale, soient injustement visées par des infractions mineures, qui menacent leur jouissance des droits de l’homme dans le système de justice pénale. En particulier, la Commission africaine s’est inquiétée du fait que l’existence et la répression des infractions mineures peuvent violer des droits qui sont protégés par la Charte africaine des droits de l’homme et des peuples (« Charte africaine »), y compris la non-discrimination (article 2), la protection contre les mauvais traitements (article 5) et l’interdiction des arrestations et détentions arbitraires (article 5).

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A simplified version of the principles on the decriminalisation of petty offences in Africa

The African Commission adopted this new legal standard because it was concerned that certain categories of people, including those who are poor or who otherwise experience social exclusion, are unfairly targeted by petty offences, which threatens their enjoyment of human rights in the criminal justice system. In particular, the African Commission was concerned that the existence and enforcement of petty offences can violate rights that are protected by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (‘African Charter’), including non-discrimination (Article 2), freedom from ill-treatment (Article 5) and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention (Article 5).

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Advanced Human Rights Course

Course Dates: 24 – 28 May 2021 | Apply until: 10 May 2021

Policing Lockdown: Accountability and oversight of the criminal justice system in the time of COVID-19. A short course presented by the Centre for Human Rights, in partnership with the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum and Fair Trials, from 24 to 28 May 2021.

This is a one-week course examining key issues exposed in criminal justice systems during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the increasing securitisation of public health enforcement, the dangers of over-reach by the criminal justice architecture, and the pressures on oversight mechanisms.

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Change the World Webinar 3: Mental Wellness and Resilience as Essential to Urban Safety

Date: Wednesday, 27 January 2021 | Time: 13h00 – 15h00 (SAST)

This third webinar in the Change the World series will unpack what we know about trauma and its impact on every aspect of urban life, with particular focus on urban safety, from excessive use of force by law enforcement, to self-perpetuating cycles of interpersonal conflict and violence to violent protest, negative resilience and even corruption.


Change the World Webinar 2: Police and Policing in a System of Safety

Date: Wednesday, 20 January 2021 | Time: 16h00 – 18h00 (SAST)

This webinar explores opportunities to reframe policing in the context of systemic safety, as a transversal set of mandates.

Law enforcement cannot alone achieve safety; many risk factors that drive unsafety have no link to the mandates or capabilities of law enforcement and cannot be resolved by arrest, detention and deterrence. COVID-19 and it’s coercive strategies have spotlighted and exacerbated pre-existing limitations on policing itself.

To register: https://crimealliance.org/events/view.php?id=64