Research seminar: Human rights as an alternative framework of justice for victims of ‘crimes against humanity’ in riot control: the case of Uganda

It is a great pleasure to invite you to participate in the CRIC research seminar that will take place on Monday November 13th. CRIC Post.doc. Sylvie Namwase will present her latest research on why many African countries suffer from an impunity gap in situations of violent riot control leading to killings by state officials, and how the human rights framework can be applied as a more effective alternative to criminal law.

Time and place
November 13th 2017 from 13:30 to 15:00 in room 25.0.01 (CRIC's meeting room), Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 Cph K.

To sign up
Please send an email to no later than Wednesday November 8th and you will receive the academic paper that will be discussed during the seminar. 

After finishing her PhD. at the Centre on Human Rights in Conflict (CHRC), University of East London, Sylvie Namwase is now working as a Post.doc. in association with the Human Rights and Peacebuilding research project at CRIC.

Many countries in Africa suffer from an impunity gap for killings perpetrated by state officials in situations of riot control.  Countries such as Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, and Egypt among others have seen such killings in the wake of post election protests and riots against rising costs of living. In most of these cases, no criminal prosecutions follow for killings arising from state violence. This impunity gap can be attributed to most governments’ political control over local criminal justice systems and processes and to the lack of a clear national and international legal framework on which to base a criminal prosecution for excessive use of force by the police and security forces. In particular this article argues that the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) does not effectively criminalize the excessive use of force under riot control and that the politicization of the ICC’s interventions on the African continent also undermines access to justice for victims’ states violence under that Statute.

The article argues that the human rights approach and in particular, litigating the right to life, would offer a more liberal and effective alternative for accountability and access to justice for the victims of state violence during riot control.  It illuminates how the human rights framework is unfettered by criminal law’s strict legality standards and how under Uganda’s constitutional framework, it by passes immunity for law enforcement officials to require accountability from the state for its atrocities following riot control. 

About research seminars at CRIC
The research seminar is a forum for academic debate, organized around a paper that will be circulated prior to the seminar, and is conducted on the assumption that the paper has been read by participants.