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African judges to discuss violence against women

21 March 2012
‘Strengthening jurisprudence of equality on violence against women’

Judges and magistrates from fourteen Commonwealth Southern and Eastern African countries will meet in Gaborone, Botswana, on 26 and 27 March 2012 to discuss strategies to strengthen judicial activism in cases of violence against women.

The meeting forms part of the work mandated by the Commonwealth Plan of Action (PoA) for Gender Equality 2005-2015.

The judicial forum will consider a range of domestic violence cases from the Commonwealth. Judges and magistrates will conduct a gender analysis of each judgment in order to identify and establish patterns in the interpretation of the law within the framework(s) of national jurisdictions, international human rights standards, Sharia and customary law.

“It is anticipated that there will be two outcomes from this meeting: a Judicial Benchbook to promote the sharing of good practices; and a resource guide to disseminate relevant case law and other technical information,” said Dr Meena Shivdas, Adviser, Gender Section and Sarah Coleman, Legal Officer, Justice Section at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Participating judges will be drawn from Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.