The African Court Coalition held its Third Roundtable and General Assembly entitled “Strategies to Strengthen Human Rights Protection in Africa” in Mombasa, Kenya from 20 to 21 October 2011.
The president of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Judge Gérard Niyungeko; judge of the Inter-American Court on Human Rights, Judge May Margarette Macaulay and outgoing deputy president of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Commissioner Mumba Malila were among the presenters at the Roundtable.
The themes discussed included the following: challenges on enforcement of the judgments of the African Court; access to the regional and sub-regional courts and the impact on the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the extension of jurisdiction to include international crimes.
Papers presented at the Roundtable:
© 2011, Francisco Rivera
Outcomes from the Roundtable include the following:
- Civil society should engage in the discussions to create an African Court with jurisdiction on international crimes. The Coalition should convene a working group with a view to making comments to the draft protocol creating a regional court with international crimes jurisdiction.
- The Coalition should support the African Court in the establishment of legal defence fund and a public defenders programme to assist litigants.
- The African Court is encouraged to hold more sessions across Africa in order to raise awareness of the Court.
- Judgments of the African Court should be enforceable automatically.
- The African Commission should begin to file cases before the African Court given the limitation by individuals to petition the Court directly.
- The Coalition should assist with the compilation of a list of lawyers across the continent that provide pro bono services.
- Civil society should use the African Court’s advisory jurisdiction.
- The Coalition must engage in advocacy work at the AU to ensure that the African Court is sufficiently funded for its activities.