About the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU)
PALU is the premier continental membership forum of and for individual African lawyers and lawyers’ associations in Africa.
Its membership comprises of the continent’s over five regional lawyers’ associations, over 54 national lawyers’ associations and over 1,000 individual lawyers spread across Africa and in the Diaspora, working together to advance the law and the legal profession, rule of law, good governance, human and peoples’ rights and socio-economic development of the African continent.
View our Accredation here
To realise a united, just and prosperous Africa, built on the rule of law and good governance, PALU has adopted three core areas of thematic focus, namely institutional development, development of the legal profession, and the rule of law and good governance.
Institutional Development Theme
Development of the Legal Profession Theme
Rule of Law and Good Governance Theme
PALU has four-tier structure, with complementary responsibilities in terms of policy, strategic and financial oversight. These are:
The Council is primarily responsible for overall governance and policy direction. It also makes rules and regulations for the proper administration and management of the organisation, and oversees and monitors their implementation. It is also responsible for initiating and considering policies that govern PALU and its relationships with other parties, and lays the same before the General Assembly for adoption. Among other things, it approves the annual activity report and audited accounts of the organisation.
Executive Committee (Board)
This is the governance organ that acts as the Board.
It is made up of nine directly elected members, the President of the Bar hosting the Secretariat of the organisation, and the PALU Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who is an ex officio member. It is responsible for formulation of goals, policies and strategies, monitoring of implementation by the Secretariat, overall oversight over administrative, financial and programmatic activities, and appraising the performance of the CEO. It represents the organisation, and, among other things, adopts the annual budget and annual audited accounts of the organisation. It meets around three times a year. The Treasurer and Secretary General play a more intensive role in visiting and engaging the Secretariat in between Board meetings, and reporting to the full Board.
Continental Advocacy and Outreach
Over the years, PALU has developed an enviable place for itself as a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) engaging and engaged by the AU organs and institutions, and also the major Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and other African Regional Organisations. We have a Memorandum of Understanding with the AU, formalised in 2006, which led to PALU being routinely involved in the activities of the Office of the Legal Counsel, the Department of Political Affairs, the African Court on Human & Peoples’ Rights, the African Union Commission on International Law and the Pan African Parliament, amongst others.
A continuing area of concern for PALU is that the various independent organs and institutions that make up AGA still appear to operate in silos, with the citizens of Africa not yet seeing and feeling fruits of more intensive co-operation, collaboration and complementarity, as was envisaged in the legal and policy instruments that established AGA. We have strived to raise this issue at all available opportunities and to give practical examples of where and how we envisage more joint work. This can at best be described as a work-in-progress.
Some of the notable advocacy projects that PALU has undertaken towards the AU include:
Publications and Communications
We continue to engage in advocacy, through letters, emails, advocacy or solidarity missions, and publication of Policy Briefs and advocacy resources for public consumption. These are used to disseminate information and foster debate on possibilities of engaging the various organs and institutions of the AU, the RECs, and other intergovernmental bodies more comprehensively, creatively and proactively, on matters of constitutionalism, democracy, good governance, rule of law, human and peoples’ rights, peace and security, regional integration and continental unity.
We also disseminate monthly e-Newsletters and special e-Bulletins, in English and French, to our wide and diverse membership and stakeholders’ database. These Communiqués provide information on recent developments, opportunities, events and issues around the African continent.
To complement these activities, we have developed an interactive website which serves as a platform for PALU members and stakeholders to get informed, share ideas and interact with each other through the various Committees, Task Forces, Working Groups and Fora. Our new Membership Engagement System allows members to hold virtual meetings; share information, ideas and business contacts; and discuss topics of interest. The website also contains a directory of key legal instruments of the AU, RECs, and other African Intergovernmental Organisations, as well as key national legislations.