Gouverner C’est Prévoir – Trappings of Value Distribution: a Prolegomenon to the African Union’s Hissène Habré Trust Fund for Victims

In: The Law & Practice of International Courts and Tribunals
Steven William Kayuni Senior Deputy Chief State Advocate in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs of the Malawi Government

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Mtendere Mute Gondwe Legal Officer, Treaty Matters at the African Union Commission (AUC)

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Since Hissène Habré’s Judgment by the Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC), the world has anxiously awaited the processes that the African Union (AU) would put in place for the amelioration of the victims’ circumstances. Pursuant to the AU’s pledge and unfaltering support for the EAC, in early 2018 the AU Heads of State and Government Assembly adopted a Statute establishing the Hissène Habré Victims Trust Fund. It is anticipated that the Fund is likely to be an unsteady vehicle facing numerous challenges regarding law and policy formulation, interpretation and implementation, such as flawed decision-making processes, and a lack of proper policy direction and State cooperation, which have the potential of heavily impeding this international criminal justice enterprise. However, there exists an opportunistic trajectory for the Fund as the current trends, practices and rich jurisprudence of other criminal tribunals and courts can inform the Fund’s processes and positions. The Fund’s decision-makers should make a concerted effort in a sturdy and convergent direction that mirrors the victims’ potential values, consonant outcomes and responsibilities.

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