Following its research on Unlawful Killings in Africa, CGHR is glad to partner with the Centre for Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH), the Centre of African Studies, the Division of Social Anthropology, the Trevelyan Fund and the Smuts Memorial Fund in supporting a multidisciplinary conference in Cambridge next year (27-28 March 2015) on Pursuing Justice in Africa.
In recent decades, justice has been overshadowed as a subject of concern to scholars of Africa by literatures centring on rights, crime, punishment, policing and social order. This neglect of justice is striking given the increasing presence of international justice institutions, such as the International Criminal Court, on the African continent and the remarkable diversity of legal structures of justice. Across Africa complex pluralities of ‘customary’, religious, state, and transnational justice regimes interact on what is often contested terrain.
The concept of “accountability” was addressed by various sections of the CGHR study Unlawful Killings in Africa, not least in pointing to its absence—cultures of impunity—with respect to various violations of the right to life across the continent. Analysing the nature of accountability in African contexts remains a thematic interest of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur.