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PostHeaderIcon SUMMARY OF DELIVERY OF RULING IN RESPECT OF REV. CHRISTOPHER R. MTIKILA v. THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA

At its seat Arusha, Tanzania, today Friday 13, June 2014, 10:00 am, the African Court on Human and Peoples Right held a public hearing for delivery of ruling in respect of Rev. Christopher R. Mtikila v. the United Republic of Tanzania.

In the ruling, both parties were represented, all judges were present for the composition of the Court except Hon. Justice S. L. Ramadhan according to Article 22 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, stating the exclusion of a judge if the judge is a national of any State which is a party to a case submitted to the Court not to hear the case and Rule 8(2) of the Rules of Court contemplating same exclusion.

Procedures of the application were read throughout accordingly, stating the remedies sought by the applicants as well as respondent’s replies to the remedies sought and prayers including several preliminary objections as well as merits of the application.

The final ruling after the analysis of the merits of the application was that;

The applicants claim for legal courses having not been proved were dismissed.

The respondent state was ordered to submit to the Court within 6 months starting from the date of the ruling a report on the measures it has taken in compliance with the judgment of the Court dated 14th June 2013 in consolidated application numbers.

The state was also ordered to issue the official English summary developed by the registry of the Court the judgment of the Court dated 14th June 2013 within 6 months indicating paragraph 45 of the ruling which will be provided once the Court has uploaded this ruling on its website, adding the summary to be translated to Kiswahili at the expense of the respondent state and publish in all languages in; official Gazette and one on a national newsletter with wide spread circulation.

Also to publish the entire judgment of 14th June 2013 in English in the official website of the respondent state and remain available on the said website for the period of one year and that within 9 months from the date of the ruling to submit to the Court a report describing the measures taken under paragraph 4 as explained above.

Finally in accordance with Rule 30 of the Rules of the Court which spells out the legal costs, each party was ordered to bear its own costs.

 

PostHeaderIcon Judgment in the matter of late Norbert Zongo and others v. Burkina Faso

Arusha 28 March 2014: The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights rendered a judgment on application No. 013/2011 ; Beneficiaries of late Norbert Zongo, Abdoulaye Nikiema, Ernest Zongo, Blaise Ilboudou and the Burkinebe Human and Peoples’ Rights Movement v. Burkina Faso at a Public Hearing.

The matter dates back to the alleged assassination on 13 December 1998, of M. Norbert Zongo, an investigating journalist and Director of the weekly paper, l’Indépendant, and his companions, notably, Abdoulaye Nikiema known as Ablassé, Blaise Ilboudo and Ernest Zongo. Their corpses were found burnt on 13 December 1998 in the car which was transporting them at a few kilometers from Sapouy, on the road to Leo, in the south of Burkina Faso.

In their application, the Applicants alleged the violation to Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Articles 2(3), 14 and 19(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, etc., by Burkina Faso.

In their pleadings before the Court, the Applicants argued that Norbert Zongo and his companions were assassinated in 1998 but that till date, those responsible for this odious crime had not been identified and no justice had been rendered to the victims and their families.

Burkina Faso representatives in the matter before the Court rejected all these allegations and blamed the Applicants for rushing to seize the African Court without having exhausted all local remedies though the matter of the assassination of Nobert Zongo was given considerable media coverage in Burkina Faso judiciary. That the matter was investigated and that witnesses were even heard.

After listening to the arguments of the parties, the Court concluded that the Respondent State, Burkina Faso, failed in its obligation to take measures, other than legislative, to ensure that the rights of the Applicants for their cause to be heard by competent national Courts are respected. The Respondent State therefore violated Article 7 as well as Article 9(2) of the Charter, read jointly with Article 66(2)(c) of the revised ECOWAS Treaty, because it failed to act with due diligence in seeking, trying and judging the assassins of Norbert Zongo and his companions. Hence, Burkina Faso simultaneously violated Article 1 of the Charter by failing to take appropriate legal measures to guarantee the respect of the rights of the Applicants pursuant to Article 7 of the Charter.

Meanwhile the Court concluded that the Respondent State did not violate Article 1 of the Charter, and that it did not violate Article 1 of the same Charter, in its obligation to adopt legislative measures.

The Court differed its decision on request for reparation and ordered the the Applicants to submit their brief on reparations within thirty days from the day of pronouncement of the judgement. It also requested the Respondent State to to submit to the Court, its brief in response on the reparations within thirty days from the date of reception of the brief of the Applicants.

The Applicants were represented by Ibrahima KANÉ, Anselm Odinkalu CHIDI and Bénéwéndé Stanislas SANKARA, Counsel, while Burkina Faso was represented by a team of government advocates, notably, Antoinette N. OUEDRAOGO and Anicet Pascal SOMÉ, Counsel.

 

PostHeaderIcon The African Court dismisses two Cases against the United Republic of Tanzania

The African Court dismisses two Cases against the United Republic of Tanzania

On Friday 28 March 2014, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights declared two cases brought against the United Republic of Tanzania inadmissible for non-exhaustion of local remedies as required by Article 6(2) of the Protocol read together with Article 56(5) of the Charter and Rule 40(5) of the Rules.

The two applications in question are Application No 001/2012: Frank D. Omary and others v. the United Republic of Tanzania and Application 003/2012: Peter Joseph Chacha v. the United Republic of Tanzania. The applicants in the first case, a group of ex-employees of the East African Community (EAC), alleged that the Government of Tanzania failed to implement commitments it undertook on 17 May 1984, following the dissolution of the then EAC. The commitments consisted in the payment of reparations on the assets and liabilities of the EAC, as well as the pension and benefits of the ex-employees. The applicant in the second case, Mr. Peter Joseph Chacha, alleged that he was unlawfully arrested, detained, charged and imprisoned contrary to Sections 13(1)(a) and (b) and 13(3)(a), (b) and (c) of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA), Chapter 20 of the Laws of The United Republic of Tanzania.

In response to the allegations of the applicants in both cases, the respondent, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, raised several preliminary objections, including objections on the lack of jurisdiction ratione materiae, on the inadmissibility of the Applications for incompatibility with the African Charter, on the inadmissibility of the Application for non-exhaustion of local remedies, etc.

After considering arguments from the parties, the Court overruled most of objections and upheld the preliminary objection on the inadmissibility of the Application for non-exhaustion of local remedies as required by Article 6(2) of the Protocol read together with Article 56(5) of the Charter and Rule 40(5) of the Rules. Therefore, it found that both applications were not admissible on the grounds that applicants have not exhausted local remedies before submitting their cases before it, and decided that the matters were not to be considered on their merits.

 

PostHeaderIcon The African Court strikes out Urban Mkandawire’s Application for Review

On Friday 28 March 2014, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights delivered a Ruling in respect of consolidated Application 001/2013: Urban Mkandawire v. The Republic of Malawi: Application for Review of Judgment and Application for Interpretation of Judgment.

Following the Court Judgment on 21 June 2013 in Application 003/2011: Urban Mkandawire v. The Republic of Malawi, the Applicant, Mr. Urban Mkandawire, seized the Court with an Application for Review and Interpretation of the Judgment.

In its Ruling of 28 March 2014, the Court held that the Application for interpretation of Judgment could not be entertained because interpretation of a judgment can only be sought from the Court "for the purpose of executing" the judgment. In the case in question, the judgment dismissed the Application on the grounds that local remedies had not been exhausted, and thus imposed no positive obligation capable of being executed. Therefore, there cannot be an application for interpretation of the judgment in terms of Article 28(4) of the Protocol as read together with Rule 66 of the Rules since there is no execution that is possible under the judgment of the Court.

Concerning the Application for review, the Court found that the Applicant inaccurately cited the Court's judgment in respect of two paragraphs of its judgments for which he was seeking review. Furthermore, what the Applicant presented as "new piece of information" was in fact neither new, nor "evidence" as contemplated in Article 28 (3) of the Protocol, or Rule 67 (1) of the Rules, as it purported to be the findings of the Court, contained in its judgment. The new evidence contemplated by the above-mentioned Article and Rules is evidence which was not previously known by the party concerned at the time of Judgment. Nothing contained in the Applicant's submissions constituted any "evidence" which was not known to the party at the time the Court handed down its judgment.

Therefore, the Court concluded that the request contained in the Application for the review of the Court's judgment of June 2013 was inadmissible and was struck out.

 

PostHeaderIcon Delivery of Judgment & Orders at the African Court

On Friday 15 March, 2013, at its seat in Arusha, Tanzania, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights delivered in an open court session a Judgment in respect of Application No. 014/2011 Atabong Denis Atemnkeng v. the African Union, concerning the validity of 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 case was however struck out due to lack of jurisdiction of the Court to entertain the matter as Cameroon has not yet ratified nor deposited the declaration under Article 34(6) allowing direct access to the Court for individuals and NGOs with observer status before the African Commission.

On the same day, the Court also ordered provisional measures in two other applications: Application No 006/2012 The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights v. the Republic of Kenya, following a request for such measures by the Applicant; And
Application 002/2013 African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights v. Libya. See also Seperate Opinion

 
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