African Court Coalition Banjul Advocacy Mission, April 2015
The African Court Coalition in collaboration with the Kenya Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ-Kenya) carried out a successful advocacy mission in Banjul, The Gambia from 13 to 25 April 2015 in line with the 56th Ordinary Session of the African Commission.
The main objective of the mission was to impress on the importance of ratification and declaration under Article 34 (6) 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 African Court Protocol) in terms of access to justice and making the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Court) effective.
To encourage African Union member states which have ratified the African Court Protocol to make the Article 34 (6) Declaration of the Protocol as well as encouraging more states to ratify the same Protocol. The African Court Coalition met one-on-one with some state delegates during the Commission session including Kenya, Niger, Nigeria and South Africa.
The African Court Coalition participated in the NGOs Forum and the 29th African Human Rights Book Fare preceding the Commission Session. This was also an opportunity to network with other human rights stakeholders in order to deepen the African Court Coalition’s visibility and disseminate the Coalition Advocacy Booklet. Fifteen (16) new members were also recruited to join the fast growing African Court Coalition in line with the African Court Coalition ‘Bring Two’ Campaign.
The advocacy mission was conducted by Mr. Dieu-Donné Wedi Djamba, the Executive Secretary of the African Court Coalition, Mr. Edigah Kavulavu, Programme Officer at ICJ-Kenya and Mrs. Tracy Davis Wilson, a Coalition’s individual member.
The African Court Coalition was financially support by Deutsche Gesellschaftfuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Sahli Fadel Maya (middle), Commissioner/special rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum seekers, IDPs and migrants in Africa. Second far left, Edigah Kavulavu, Programme Officer ICJ Kenya member of the Coalition with participants at the African Commission.
From left: Irene Petras (CEO of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights), Dieu-Donné Wedi Djamba (Executive Secretary, African Court Coalition) and Blessing Gorejena (Zimbabwe NGO Forum, Southern Africa Focal Point) at the African Commission Session.
First Colloquium and Third General Assembly
The Coalition for an Effective African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Court Coalition/the Coalition) together with The Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya) and Rencontre Africaine pour la Defénse des Droits de l’Homme (RADDHO) successfully organized the first Colloquium of the African Court Coalition themed; “Building the Court we want: Reflecting on perspectives of the proposed African Court with criminal jurisdiction” on the 12 of March 2015 and the 3rd General Assembly on the following day (13 March 2015). Both events were held at the Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha Tanzania.
The First Colloquium
The Colloquium aimed at exploring avenues for redress in the fight against impunity provided in the Malabo Protocol that was adopted in June 2014 at the ordinary summit of the AU as well as reflecting on the concerns amongst stakeholders and their expectations regarding the capacity of the Court to effectively fight impunity in the continent.
This was a forum that brought together civil society organizations, lawyers, scholars, donors and other potential stakeholders. In attendant was also the Judge President of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights; Justice Agustino Ramadhani who gave a key note speech and opened the Colloquium.
Presenters to the Colloquium included; Mr. Dzimbabwe Chimbga (Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights-Zimbabwe), Mr. Dieu-Donne Wedi Djamba (African Court Coalition), Mr. George Kegoro (ICJ-Kenya) Dr. Tarisai Mutangi (Zimbabwe), Dr. Chacha Bhoke Murungu (University of Dodoma-Tanzania), Mr. Don Deya (Pan-African Lawyers Union), Prof. Frans Viljoen (University of Pretoria), Mr. Japhet Biegon (Amnesty International), Mr. Alphonse Van (Former Senior Appeal Counsel, Office of the Prosecutor- ICTR) and Mr. Hassan Bility (Global Justice and Research Project-Liberia).
As per its aims to promote the protection of human rights as well as access to justice for victims of human rights violation in the continent, the Coalition will support not only the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights but also the coming Court with extended jurisdiction that will cover criminal matters amongst others (African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights). Colloquium debates allowed the Coalition to identify strategies both at national and African Union level to work toward an effective coming Court. These strategies will be developed to engage with the Malabo Protocol in strengthening positive aspects of the Malabo Protocol and weakening negative aspects of the same Protocol in order to realize the effectiveness of the coming Court in the fight against impunity and access to justice in Africa.
The 3rd General Assembly
Members and invited guests attended the African Court Coalition 3rd General Assembly of which the main agenda was presentation of activity and financial reports from the Chairperson and election of new Executive Committee Members as well as new Focal Points to serve for the period of three years as provided under the Coalition Constitution.
Following organisations were candidates for the Executive Committee:
The following organisations were candidates for Focal Points:
Given the limited numbers of new candidacies for the Executive Committee and Focal Points, the General Assembly took a resolution to elect for 3 years (2015-2018) term organisations which stood for elections for the positions in the Executive Committee as well as Focal Points including those which had already served for 2 terms consecutively. Also, given the fact that number of candidacy for the Executive Committee was 8 instead of at least 9 in order to get 9 members as provided by the Coalition’s Constitution, the General Assembly also decided that a ninth member of the Executive Committee will be nominated by the newly elected Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will nominate the ninth in the next 2 weeks following the General Assembly.
The General Assembly also took the resolution to amend the Coalition’s Constitution and decided that the Coalition will organise an extraordinary General Assembly in 2017 to adopt those amendments. The extraordinary General Assembly will be held together with the Second Colloquium of the Coalition.
Below is the list of the Executive Committee Members and Focal Points of the Coalition that will serve for three years; 2015-2018; The next elective General Assembly will be held in 2018.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
The Coalition is grateful to Trust Africa for its financial support
Strengthening the Protection of Women's Rights in West Africa
Strengthening the Protection of Women's Rights in West Africa: Regional Training and Advocacy Workshop on the Rules of Procedure of the African Court, the African Commission and ECOWAS Court of Justice, Dakar, Senegal: 24-25 February 2015
The Coalition for an Effective African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (The African Court Coalition) in partnership with Senegalese Association of Female Jurists (AJS) carried out a training and Advocacy workshop in Darkar, Senegal from 24 to 25 February 2015.
The main objective of the Mission was towards strengthening the protection of women rights in West Africa by educating and creating awareness on the rights of women and relevant procedures to be followed in redressing violations of such rights through judicial remedies that are available locally, regionally and continentally.
The regional training and advocacy workshop was combined of a one day training-advocacy on women's rights and available remedies in the African Charter and the Maputo Protocol, and a one day training workshop on the Rules of Procedure of the African Court, African Commission and the ECOWAS Court of Justice.
Also included was the mapping of potential women's rights cases to be brought before the appropriate African regional or continental judicial or quasi-judicial mechanism. One potential case from Ghana to be submitted before the African Court, two potential cases from Senegal to be submitted before the African Commission and one potential from Senegal to be submitted before the ECOWAS Court of Justice were identified.
Training and Advocacy Workshop was financially supported by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).
(Full report to be released later)
MAKE THE DIFFERENCE, SUPPORT THE AFRICAN COURT COALITION!
African Court Coalition being a non-profiting Organization is open to receive donations which will support its activities particularly on trainings, seminars, advocacy and round tables with a purpose of assuring access to justice for all in Africa in working toward an effective, accessible and independent African Court on People’s and Human Rights (African Court).
Donations will also be used to support young graduates to gain experience with the African Court and the African Human Rights System as a whole as well as the work experience in an organization through a rich internship program conducted at the African Court Coalition Secretariat.
Our development partners: