Centre for Human Rights: Police Oversight and Accountability in Africa

Centre for Human Rights

The Centre for Human Rights (CHR) is both an academic department and a non-governmental organisation, and works towards human rights education in Africa, a greater awareness of human rights, the wide dissemination of publications on human rights in Africa, and the improvement of the rights of women, people living with HIV, indigenous peoples, sexual minorities and other disadvantaged or marginalised persons or groups across the continent. The CHR was established in the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in 1986, as part of domestic efforts against the apartheid system of the time.

The CHR is conducting a one-week intensive short course on Police Oversight and Accountability in Africa from 16-19 July 2013 in Pretoria.

Given the relative nascence of police oversight and accountability as an area of both academic and professional endeavour, the issue has, despite its obvious and critical importance, a limited profile in Africa.

There are few people that actively operate in the field, and who can boast a complete set of skills, particularly in the area of police oversight.

The CHR, in partnership with the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum, has introduced a short course on Police Oversight and Accountability in Africa.  

The aim of the course is to profile police accountability and oversight as a human rights and governance concern, and assist in building a community of practitioners on the continent who can become active advocates for increased accountability of the police, and who are skilled to identify and act in terms of overseeing the actions of the police. 

During the one-week intensive course, scheduled from 15-19 July 2013, training is provided to practitioners, policy-makers, scholars and post-graduate students.

Topics may include the following:

  • Police Oversight;
    • Theories and systems;
    • Democratic Policing;
    • Architecture of Police Oversight;
    • Police Oversight in Africa - Challenges and Opportunities;
    • Internal and External Oversight:  Systems and Practice;
  • Police Standards:  Overview of relevant International and regional standards monitoring police action;
  • Police Corruption;
  • Use of Force;
  • Public Order and Policing Elections;
  • Torture;
  • Custody Visits and Citizen Oversight; and
  • National Security and Access to Information.


This is a high-level course, particularly designed for practitioners working in the field of police accountability and oversight in Africa.  Applications from judicial officers, post-graduate students with a relevant research focus, government officials responsible for relevant issues, and members of civil society groups experienced in and engaged with the issues are encouraged.

Applicants from around the world are invited. However, the course will have an African focus. Applicants from African countries are therefore in particular encouraged to apply.

All lectures and materials are in English, and proficiency in English is required to attend these courses.


The course fee is R3 000 (US$450). This fee covers tuition, course materials, teas and lunch for the duration of the course. The fee excludes transport and accommodation costs.


A limited number of scholarships are available. Applicants must indicate on the online application form whether they wish to apply for a scholarship and provide sufficient motivation substantiating why they require financial assistance.

Applicants should also indicate whether they would still like to be considered for admittance in the event that they are not granted a scholarship.

The application deadline for applications is 5 July 2013.

For more information or to apply, refer to www1.chr.up.ac.za/index.php/ahrc-2013/police-oversight-a-accountability.html.  

For more about the Centre for Human Rights, refer to www1.chr.up.ac.za.

Event Start Date: 
Tuesday, 16 July, 2013
Event End Date: 
Friday, 19 July, 2013
Event Venue: 
Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
Event Type: 

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