>>BY BRAMWEL CHENG’WALI>>
Kenya is hosting the 2023 Africa Regional Judicial Dialogue in Mombasa.
The three-day summit, which will deliberate on transnational organized crimes and illicit financial flow in Africa, was officially opened by Chief Justice Martha Koome on Tuesday.
While opening the summit, Chief Justice Martha Koome said transnational organized crimes and illicit financial flows were not only legal issues but also threats to social fabric, economies, and governance.
“From Cape Town to Cairo, Dakar to Mogadishu, we have all witnessed how transnational crimes disrupt our societies,” said CJ Koome.
She pointed out that illicit financial flows deprive governments of resources for public services, development, and poverty reduction while facilitating the accumulation of wealth and power by criminal networks and corrupt public officials.
“Human trafficking, narcotics trade, illegal arms dealing, cybercrime, wildlife poaching, counterfeiting, and the alarming growth of illicit financial flows have cast a shadow over our developmental aspirations,” said Koome.
Africa is not immune to transnational organized crime and illicit financial flow, among the emerging trends of transnational organized crimes and illicit are increased use of technology and digital platforms by criminal networks, expansion of criminal markets and networks across borders, and laundering money.
The nature of transnational organized crime poses many challenges to the judiciaries while combating the crimes.
The crimes are constantly evolving and adopting new technologies and often operate across multiple jurisdictions involving different legal systems languages and cultures.
“The crimes exploit gaps and weaknesses in national and international laws, regulations, and cooperation mechanisms,” said the CJ.
Justice Koome urged the judiciary to evolve its operation and build the capacity of judges and judicial officers through Judicial Training institutes to address the changing face of these crimes.
“In the face of transnational threat, our response must be transnational, by pooling our resources, sharing our experiences and standing united in our commitment to justice,” urged Koome.
The symposium attended by Judicial officers across 21 countries from Africa will go on until Friday.