Dr. Ali Garshasbi, Deputy Secretary-General of AALCO delivered a speech at the 4th African Judicial Dialogue, held from 30 October to 1 November 2019 in Kampala, Republic of Uganda. Organized by the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AFCHPR) under the guidance of the African Union (AU), the theme of the dialogue was “Tackling Contemporary Human Rights Issues: The Role of the Judiciary in Africa”. The participants comprised of representatives from 43 Member States of the African Union including Chief Justices, Presidents of Supreme and Constitutional Courts from AU Member States as well as regional and international judicial bodies and local participants from the Ugandan Government.
The topic of Dr. Garshasbi’s speech was “The Right to Nationality and the Problem of Statelessness in Africa”. In his presentation, he drew upon the fundamental concepts related to the issue of nationality and statelessness and the significance of sovereignty when it comes to statelessness with reference to jurisprudence of international courts and tribunals, especially the International Court of Justice. Expounding upon the challenges in implementation of the 1954 Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness in Africa and Asia, he touched upon certain good practices in national legislations aimed at preventing and reducing statelessness in both continents. Further, he noted AALCO’s “Model articles embodying principles relating to elimination or reduction of dual or multiple nationality” and detailed how AALCO (then AALCC) had managed to tackle the issue with a view to preventing statelessness by the said Model Articles with special attention to State sovereignty, women and children in the early 60s.