ASF in the Central African Republic

Location: Bangui and Berberati Date of establishment: 2015 Team: 8 collaborators Contact: bur-apcpi@asf.be - Telephone +236 72 74 05 72

Context

The many political and military crises that have affected the Central African Republic (CAR) have for decades been undermining the establishment of the rule of law. Justice, perceived as arbitrary and not independent by a majority of the population, is faced with enormous challenges.

Legal personnel, mainly located in the capital Bangui, are too few to provide their services to the country’s 3 courts of appeal and 24 tribunals. Of the hundred or so lawyers officially registered, only one is located outside of the capital. Furthermore, the training of justice actors falls short in terms of quality.

The country’s needs in the justice sector are considerable, both in terms of supply and demand for justice:

  • For citizens seeking justice: lack of knowledge of rights and procedures, geographical remoteness, insufficient funds, lack of understanding of the role of justice actors, lack of trust and reluctance (religious, cultural, social) to seek formal justice, etc.
  • For legal personnel offering their services: lack of political will, problem of articulation between the formal and informal justice system, insufficient resources (human, financial, material), lack of training/supervision of institutional actors, insufficient geographical coverage, non-conformity, non-existence and inadequacy of the normative framework, corruption and other forms of abuse and lack of synergy between actors.

ASF’s intervention strategy

ASF highlights a holistic approach to access to justice in CAR, whilst supporting community justice actors (neighbourhood chiefs, customary and religious leaders) and strengthening the capacity building of key legal aid actors (bar associations and civil society organisations).

Projects

Publications

October 5, 2023

Report Justice ExPEERience 2021-2023

October 5, 2023

(French) Report Justice ExPEERience 2021-2023

September 19, 2023

(French) Guide for the defense before the Special Criminal Court (Central African Republic)

September 19, 2023

(French) Guide for civil parties before the Special Criminal Court (Central African Republic)

News

January 24, 2024

Defending the defence: The lawyer faced with the peril of repression

Legal proceedings, harassment, intimidation, deprivation of liberty, and sometimes direct physical harm. Throughtout the world, lawyers working on behalf of human rights, civil society or vulnerable groups are threatened and attacked simply for doing their job. This is the reality that we and our partners have to face wherever we operate. Our teams report repeated and increasing attacks on lawyers, and more generally on human rights defenders, in a global context of erosion the rule of law, narrowing of civic space and hypertrophy of executive power to the detriment of the legislative and judicial systems.

October 16, 2023

Justice ExPEERience, the human rights network launched by ASF, celebrates its second anniversary

Two years ago, Avocats Sans Frontières launched Justice ExPEERience, a network for the promotion of human rights, as well as an online platform of the same name to support and energise this network. This anniversary is an opportunity for us to look back at the history and mandate of the Justice ExPEERience network and its platform. A report on its first two years of activity has just been published, covering developments since its creation, its key projects and also its development prospects.

September 22, 2023

ExPEERience Talk #11 - Decriminalising poverty, status and activism: a global emergency, an international campaign

This 11th ExPEERience Talk will be devoted to the Campaign for the Decriminalisation of Poverty, Status and Activism. Several of its members will present its history and how it operates. They will discuss the challenges encountered and the opportunities presented by the networking of a multiplicity of actors to tackle a global and systemic issue of such magnitude.