As the world enters a period of uncertainty with the Covid-19 pandemic, the justice system in various nations are inevitably falling under considerable strain. This has called for contingency measures which include embracing virtual courtrooms in order to enable our courts to continue operating even during the height of the pandemic.
The Attorney General Alliance-Africa in collaboration with the East Africa Law Society and the EALS Institute designed a dynamic capacity-building series targeting lawyers in the East African Community with focus on lawyering techniques in the era of virtual courtrooms, data protection, digital forensics, cybercrimes and transnational crimes.
The virtual training series was held from 1st July to 5th August 2020 and attracted lawyers and other legal experts across the East Africa Region with the objective of equipping the target audience with indispensable skills in today’s environment, shaped by many successive factors including the on-going Covid-19 pandemic. The sessions were facilitated by experts drawn from the USA, Europe, East Africa and other parts of Africa.
Series I: Advocacy Techniques in Virtual Courts
The first Webinar in the Series took place on 1st July 2020 and was aimed at addressing the gaps in training for courtroom lawyers and arbitrators on virtual courtrooms and was also graced by AGA-Africa’s Board Member Markus Green ESQ, EALS’s Secretary General Asmahaney Saad, and CEO Hannington Amol. The panelists were Judge Sean Wallace, Judge of the Circuit Court for the 7th Circuit of Maryland and Olubunmi A. Salami, Assistant Polk County Attorney from the US and Kenya’s Stephen Kipttiness, Senior Partner, Technology and Intellectual Property Practice and Faith Macharia-Okaalo, Partner, ALN| Anjarwalla & Khanna.
Series II: Data Protection: Laws, Regulations and Emerging Issues
The second session took place on 8th July 2020 and was also graced by EALS CEO Hannington Amol, AGA-Africa’s Representative Norma Tyili, and AGA-Africa’s Programme Officer Lillian Mwaniki. The session examined the import of the EU General Data Protection Regulations, its cross border application beyond the EU, data protection and privacy in East Africa and some emerging concerns. In the panel of subject matter experts were Willy Rubeya, President, East Africa Law Society, Aisha Ally Sinda, Senior Associate Bowmans| Webinar Moderator from Tanzania, Dr. Isaac Rutenberg, Director, CIPIT and Linda Bonyo, Founder, Lawyers Hub from Kenya and Kenneth Muhangi, Partner, KTA Advocates, from Uganda.
Series III: Digital Forensics for Lawyers
The third session in the series took place on 15th July 2020 and was designed to impart the skills in the emerging area of Digital Forensics to lawyers. The session was graced by EALS Treasurer Maggie Baingana, AGA-representative Norma Tyili, and AGA-Africa’s Programme Officer Lillian Mwaniki. To share their skills and vast experience in Digital forensics were: Judge Sean Wallace, Judge of the Circuit Court for the 7th Circuit of Maryland from the US, Robert Mackay, Partner at R Mackay Advocates from Uganda and Lawrence Dinga, Cybersecurity and digital forensics specialist, Managecom Systems Limited from Kenya.
Series IV: The Changing Face of Transnational Crimes in the 21st Century
The fourth and final session took place on 5th August 2020 and was aimed at examine transnational crimes with the 21st century lenses and discuss emerging challenges and solutions, with the aim of assisting lawyers, law enforces, judicial officers and researchers to appreciate the dynamics and create their own solutions. The Webinar meeting was also graced by among others AGA-Africa Board Member Markus Green and EALS CEO Hannington Amol. On the panel were seasoned legal practitioners Stephen Kiptinness, Senior Partner, Technology and Intellectual Property Practice and John Bridge, Director of Financial Crimes Technology at Trust Stamp.