Officials of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and representatives of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) have met in Arusha to strengthen their complementarity roles as enshrined in the Protocol.
It was also to deepen human rights promotion and protection on the Continent.
The two-day joint meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, was under the joint leadership of African Court’s President Lady Justice Imani Daud Aboud and the African Commission’s Chairperson, Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso.
Lady Justice Aboud explained that the African Court was established by virtue of 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.
She said the Protocol establishing the African Court was adopted on June 9, 1998 in Burkina Faso and came into force on January 25, 2004.
The African Court President said the mandate of the Continental Court was to complement and reinforce the functions of the African Commission, which was 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,” Lady Justice Aboud noted.
Commissioner Dersso noted that the mandate of the African Commission under Article 45 of the Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights was to promote Human and Peoples’ Rights.
It is also mandated to collect documents, undertake studies and researches on African problems in the field of human and peoples’ rights, organize seminars, symposia and conferences, disseminate information, encourage national and local institutions concerned with human and peoples’ rights, and in case a problem arise, it gives its view or make recommendations to Governments.
Commissioner Dersso noted that it was also to formulate and lay down, principles and rules aimed at solving legal problems relating to human and peoples’ rights and fundamental freedoms upon which African Governments may base their legislations.
The African Commission also co-operate with other African and international institutions concerned with the promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights; and ensure the protection of human and peoples’ rights under conditions laid down by the present Charter.
The African Commission Head also noted that the Commission interprets all the provisions of the present Charter at the request of a State party, an institution of the African Union or an African Organization recognized by the African Union.
Commissioner Dersso said it also perform any other tasks which may be entrusted to it by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government.