The Coalition for an Effective African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Court Coalition) and its Southern Africa Focal Point, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum organized a successful Roundtable Discussion themed “Reflecting on Collaboration between the African Court and Sub-regional Courts in line with the Extension of the African Court Jurisdiction to Criminal Matters” on 7 December 2013 at Mount Meru Hotel, Arusha, Tanzania.
The Discussions focused on the avenues of collaboration between the African Court having criminal jurisdiction in order to fight impunity of international crimes in Africa and also on the complementarity of the African Court and Sub-regional Courts with the work of the International Criminal Court (the ICC) if these courts (African Court and sub-regional Courts) will end up having international criminal justice jurisdiction.
The Roundtable Discussion gathered human rights and legal experts including the President of the African Court and other Judges of the same Court, a Judge from the East African Court of Justice, Registrar of SADC Tribunal as well as other practitioner lawyers and scholars.
Presentations made during the Roundtable Discussion were as follow with the respective names of presenters -
- New Developments at the African Court - Hon. Lady Justice Sophia A.B Akuffo, President of the African Court on Human & Peoples’ Rights;
- New Developments at the East African Court of Justice - Hon. Justice James Ogoola, Justice of Appeal: East African Court of Justice;
- New Developments at the SADC Tribunal - Hon. Justice Charles Mkandawire, Registrar: SADC Tribunal;
- Perspective on collaboration between East Africa Court of Justice and the African Court in fighting international crimes in Eastern Africa Region - Mr. Edigah Kavulavu, ICJ Kenya;
- Perspective on collaboration between ECOWAS Court and the African Court in fighting international crimes in Western Africa Region - Mrs. Osai Ojigho-Alliances for Africa, Nigeria;
- Perspective on collaboration between SADC Tribunal and the African Court in fighting international crimes in Southern Africa Region - Mrs. Maureen Kondowe, SADC Lawyers Association;
- Perspective for the establishment of international criminal jurisdictions at both African Court and sub-regional courts and their complementarity to the ICC’s work - Dr. Chacha Bhoke Murungu, University of Dodoma, Tanzania.
African Court Coalition and Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum Roundtable Discussion, 7 December 2013, Arusha, Tanzania.
The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in collaboration with the Government of Cameroon, organised a Consultative and Sensitization Seminar on the promotion of the Court for Women Human Rights NGOs in Africa, from 24 to 26 April 2013, at Hotel Mont Fébé, in Yaoundé, Cameroon, with the theme “The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights: Your New Partner in Strengthening the Protection of Human Rights in Africa”.
The aim of the Seminar was to enhance the protection of human rights in Africa, through raising awareness about the Court, sensitize women NGOs and potential users of the Court on how to seize the Court and the procedure to follow, and encourage states like Cameroon which have not yet ratified 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), to do so, and further make the Article 34(6) declaration, allowing individuals and NGOs direct access to the Court, after exhausting local remedies.
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The African Court Coalition held a two-day Training Workshop for 24 legal practitioners (Anglophone and Francophone) on the Rules of Procedure of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ right (the African Court) on the 8th and 9th of March at the Kibo Palace Hotel, Arusha Tanzania.
Facilitators for the Training were scholars and experts in litigation who have excellent experiences with regional courts as well as the African Court and African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. These included the former commissioner Bahame Tom Nyanduga, Prof Vincent O. Nmehielle, Dr. Robert Eno, Dr. Chacha Bhoke, Ms Mercy Deche and Dr. Joseph Yav Katshung.
All participants had an opportunity to attend a public hearing session at the African Court on Friday 8. The guest of Honor for the event was Madam President of the African Court, Justice Sophia Akuffo who was represented by the Registrar of the Court, Dr. Robert Eno.
The training workshop is part of the African Court Coalition’s objectives to build capacity among lawyers and for better understanding of the rules of procedure of the African Court.
(East Africa Focal Point)
Speech by the Tanganyika Law Society delivered on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Coalition for An Effective African Court on Human and People’s Rights at the Africa Day Celebrations held at the Mnazi Mmoja Grounds, Dar es Salaam on 25th May, 2011. Read more.
(West African Focal Point)
The Centre des Droits de l’Homme et du Développement (CDHD), in partnership with the African Court Coalition held a conference entitled « la ratification du Protocole portant statut de la Cour africaine de justice et des droits de l’homme par la République du Congo : quels enjeux et quelles perspectives ? » at the Phoenix Hotel in Brazzaville, the Congo on 14 May 2011. The keynote speaker was Mr Charles Emile Appesse, the First president of the Court of Appeal of Brazzaville. The chairperson of the conference was Mr Gilbert Mouyabi, the legal and administrative Advisor of the Lord Chancellor, Minister of justice and human rights and judge at the Supreme Court.
Some 30 participants from the ministry of justice and the human rights, magistrates, lawyers, members of the police service and NGO representatives attended the conference.
The participants reviewed the mechanisms of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and having examined the effect of the ratification of the Protocol establishing the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the participants formulated recommendations, including the following; for NGOs and state actors to strengthen efforts aimed at raising awareness of the African Court Protocol and protocol establishing the African Court of Justice and Human Rights; and to make the declaration accepting the competence of the Court to receive cases from individuals and NGOs.
(West African Focal Point)
On 29 March 2011, the African Court Coalition in partnership with the Rencontre Africaine des Droits de l’Homme (RADDHO) held a roundtable on the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Court) in Dakar, Senegal. The following organisations were in attendance: The Dakar Bar association, The Ministry of Human Rights, The Judiciary of the Regional Court of Dakar, The Association of Young Lawyers of Senegal, The ICRC, The Senegalese Committee for Human Rights, The press, and Human rights organisations.
The participants made several recommendations and these include:
- Organise feedback sessions for lawyers because they are not supposed to monitor issues relating to human rights violations in the field and in international institutions;
- Post newsletters to members and interested persons to better educate people about the African Court;
- Increase efforts to encourage countries to ratify the Protocol establishing the African Court;
- Participate actively in the work of the African Commission given the large presence of NGOs;
- Advocate for the revision of texts in line to allow individuals to appeal to the Court;
- Build capacity among officials in order to understand the benefits of an African Court.
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