The 63rd Ordinary Session of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights has started at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to examine a number of applications during the four-week session that will close on December 3rd, 2021.
The African Court will deliver Judgements on December 2, 2021, which would be live streamed via link: https://www.youtube.com/user/africancourt/live.
Lady Justice Imani Daud Aboud, President of the African Court, explained the African Continental Court was established by African countries to ensure the protection of human and peoples’ rights in Africa.
It complements and reinforces the functions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
She said, it was established by pursuant to Article 1 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, (the Protocol) which was adopted by Member States of the then Organization of African Unity (OAU) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in June 1998.
The Protocol came into force on January 25, 2004.
Lady Justice Aboud identified 32 States which have ratified the Protocol as: Ghana, Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Comoros, Congo, and Democratic Republic of Congo.
The rest are: Gabon, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Libya, Lesotho, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Nigeria, Niger, Rwanda, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, South Africa, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia and Uganda.
The African Court President commended the “Bold eight States” out of the 32 State Parties to the Protocol who deposited the declaration recognizing the competence of the Court to receive cases directly from NGOs and individuals.
The “Bold eight States” are: Ghana, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Malawi, Niger and Tunisia.
“The African Court’s Contentious Jurisdiction applies to all cases and disputes submitted to it in respect of the interpretation and application of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, (the Charter), the Protocol and any other relevant human rights instrument ratified by the States concerned.
“For its Advisory Jurisdiction, the Court may, at the request of a Member State of the African Union (AU), the AU, any of its organs or any African organisation recognised by the AU, give an opinion on any other legal matter relating to the Charter or any other relevant human rights instruments, provided that the subject matter of the opinion is not related to a matter being examined by the Commission,” she said.