The Coalition for an effective African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Court Coalition or the Coalition) and Rencontre Africaine pour la Defense des Droits de l’Homme (RADDHO) are delighted to announce the First Colloquium of the African Court Coalition themed: Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the African Court Protocol and 11th anniversary of the African Court Coalition; Challenges and perspectives for an efficient and effective African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights AND warmly invite members of the Coalition to participate to the 3rd General Assembly to be held in October 2014 in Dakar, Senegal prior to the 56th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
With the aim to strengthen the protective mandate of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission), The African Union (AU) adopted 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). The Protocol entered into force on 25 January 2004.
With the establishment of the African Court of Human and Peoples' Rights (the African Court) in 2006, the mission of protecting the human rights mandate of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (the African Commission) has been strengthened. This gave some hope to all human rights defenders across the continent because the effectiveness and independence of the African Court will depend on the effectiveness of the fight against impunity in the continent. The African Court also represents hope for victims of human rights violations to have their causes heard and access to compensation for damages.
Established on 23 May 2003 in Niamey (Niger), the African Court Coalition’s mission is to ensure access to justice for all in Africa. The vision behind this mission is to contribute to the creation of an effective, independent and accessible African Court to all throughout the continent. To achieve this vision, the African Court Coalition has worked for eleven (11) years building capacity for lawyers and non-lawyers in civil society as well as national institutions on the Rules of Procedure of the African Court and that of the African Commission. The African Court Coalition also led advocacy campaigns for the ratification of the Protocol establishing the African Court and deposit of the Declaration under Article 34(6) of the same Protocol.
Finally, the African Court Coalition has made several lobbying campaigns in the elections of judges at the African Court and held roundtable discussions with experts as Think Tank and popularized the work of the African Court through its Newsletters, Advocacy pamphlets and Practice Manuals.
It is against this background that the African Court Coalition and Rencontre Africaine pour la Defense des Droits de l’Homme (RADDHO) announce the organization of Coalition First Colloquium to be held in Dakar, Senegal which will be followed by the General Assembly.
This Colloquium aims to take stock of the African Court Coalition since its inception and reflect on its effectiveness, celebrate the 10th anniversary of the coming into force of the Protocol creating the African Court and reflect on the independence of the African Court as well as the new developments on the extension of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights’ jurisdiction to criminal matters.
The Colloquium is expected to be a moment of appraisal of the Coalition’s impact in advancing access to justice in the Continent and develop new strategies to the promotion of the African Court work; new strategies for the universal ratification of the African Court and declaration under Article 34(6) and way forward with an African Court having a criminal jurisdiction.
In addition to the general theme, the Colloquium will also address the following themes:
• The results and prospects of the African Court Coalition;
• The search for unity in strengthening the African Court;
• The operation and relationship between the African Court and other African institutions;
• Article 34 (6) or universal access to justice denial to victims;
• New developments on the extension of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights’ jurisdiction to criminal matters: challenges and perspectives.
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The General Assembly will be taking place the next day after the Colloquium. The agenda of the General Assembly is as follows:
• Activity and financial reports from the Chairperson
• Election of Coalition Executive Committee and Focal Points to serve for a three-year term
• Welcoming of the new Executive Committee and Focal Points and election of the new Chairperson and the Deputy chairperson;
• Closing Dinner
Coalition members, special guests and strategic partners will be entitled to participate in the General Assembly but voting will be restricted to registered Coalition members.
NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
Who may nominate?
All registered Coalition organisations members shall be entitled to nominate another member organisation or themselves for election as an Executive Committee member or a Focal Point.
Each nomination must be supported by another registered Coalition organisation member.
The Secretariat will be receiving a list of nominations until end September 2014 which should be submitted through
Who may stand for elections?
Only Coalition organisations that are not in arrears of their membership fees may stand for elections.
Members may stand for the following positions:
The Executive Committee: a nine-member body comprising organisations responsible for policy and oversight of the Secretariat;
The Executive Committee shall be representative of the five regions of Africa. At least two member organisations must be located in Tanzania.
Focal Points: there are 7 focal points of which five are geographic; North Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa and East Africa AND two are thematic; Lusophone and National Human Rights Institutions. A member organisation cannot be nominated for a position on the Executive Committee and as a Focal Point.
All registered Coalition members who will be present at the General Assembly have a right to vote in the elections by secret ballot; one vote per member organization/Individual.
REGISTRATION FOR PARTICIPATION
Participants to the Colloquium and General Assembly will be required to pay a registration fee of $300. This fee will only cover coffee/tea and lunch during the Colloquium and General Assembly and closing dinner after the General Assembly.
The registration fee SHALL NOT INCLUDE ACCOMODATION, TRAVELL EXPENSES OR ANY OTHER EXPENSES apart from those indicated above.
Organizers will cover participation costs of the Guests including Founder Members of the Coalition, Executive Committee members and Focal Points.
The Coalition for an effective African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights
Mr. Dieu-Donné Wedi Djamba
Tel/fax: +255 732979997
Ms. Sophia Ebby
Tel/fax: +255 732979997
Ms. Maria Mnzava
Tel/Fax +255 732979997
Rencontre Africaine pour la Defense des Droits de l’Homme (RADDHO)
Mr. Aboubacry Mbodji