African Court and East African Law Society to deepen cooperation

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The East African Law Society and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights has initiated moves to deepen cooperation to ensure the protection of human and peoples’ rights in Africa.

The two entities seek to complement and reinforce the protection of the rights of Africans in pursuant to Article one of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Lady Justice Imani Daud Aboud, African Court President and the East African Law Society President, Bernard Oundo iron out the cooperation during interaction at the African Court Headquarters at Arusha, Tanzania.
Mr Oundo also used the occasion to congratulate Lady Justice Aboud’s election as the President of the African Continental Court.

He explained that the East Africa Law Society which is the regional Bar Association of East Africa was formed in 1995 and incorporated in Tanzania with over 17,000 individual members.

It also has seven national Bar associations as members: Law Society of Kenya, Tanganyika Law Society, Uganda Law Society, Zanzibar Law Society, Rwanda Bar Association, Burundi Bar Association, the South Sudan Bar Association.

Mr Oundo explained that the East Africa Law Society works to promote good governance and the rule of law in the East African region and enjoys formal Observer Status with the East African Community and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

He said the Society was also a member of the International Coalition for the Responsibility to protect under which leaders of every country solemnly promised to protect their people from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity.

Lady Justice Aboud explained that the African Court was the judicial arm of the African Union and one of the three regional human rights courts together with the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human rights.

He said it was established to protect the human and peoples’ rights in Africa principally through delivery of judgments.

She said the African Court’s mandate is to complement and reinforce the functions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which is a quasi-judicial body charged with monitoring the implementation of the Charter.

The African Court applies the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other human rights instruments ratified by the States concerned. It does not have criminal jurisdiction like the International Criminal Court.

The African Court President explained the core values hinged on the African Charter and other internationally recognized principles of human rights and the promotion of the rule of law.

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