IIJ Trial Judge’s CTAC: First Edition for Practitioners from West Africa and Sahel

11 September - 20 October 2023

Through September and October 2023, with the support of the French and German governments, the IIJ’s Academic Unit launched a new “Counter-Terrorism: Academic Curriculum” programme designed to strengthen the skills of judges in charge of terrorism proceedings in West Africa and the Sahel (Trial Judge’s CTAC).

This first edition was based on fictitious cases of terrorist incidents, as well as on sessions of training that included direct exchanges and practical work to deepen practitioners’ fundamental skills. This programme was divided into an online component and an in-person component. The online component lasted over a month and included online learning guided by the Academic Unit’s online learning management platform, while the in-person component lasted a week and took place in Malta. The course was delivered in French with the support of the Academic Unit’s Director Judge Marie Compère and Resident Fellow and former Niamey Public Prosecutor, Mr. Cheibou Samna, as well as speakers Ms. Hélène Cisse, a lawyer at the Dakar Bar, Mr. Guillaume Soto-Mayor, an expert on West and Central Africa, and a French magistrate, former president of the Paris Court of Assizes, who notably presided over the November 13, 2015 terrorism cases.

Overall, 19 judges from 6 French-speaking civil law countries in West Africa and the Sahel (Benin, Chad, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Senegal, and Togo) had the opportunity to exchange, cooperate & work together over a month online and in-person. They hailed this peer-to-peer programme as a success and emphasized its practicality and its innovative and intensive approach. Mr. Kossivi Sossou, Correctional and Civil Judge of Tsévié in Togo, declared that “this training enabled [his delegation] to become aware of the shortcomings of [Togolese] national legal texts with regard to international legal instruments”. He added: “We would like to express our sincere thanks to the IIJ and to the donors, notably France and Germany, who placed their trust in the IIJ's efforts to support the organization of this training (...) and we recommend that Togo always be associated with future CTAC training, as we found this training very relevant”. Another participant noted that “there is no training program more in-depth and closer to reality”.

For more information on the Trial Judge’s CTAC, please contact Programme Manager Ikram Mensi.

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