28.03.2022 Madagascar

African Court: Madagascar accedes to the protocol

By Frank Atiase, CDA Consult
African Court President Lady Justice AboudAfrican Court President Lady Justice Aboud
28.03.2022 LISTEN

The Republic of Madagascar has acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, to bring to 33 the number of State Parties to the Protocol.

“This is an excellent development and we exhort Madagascar to also make the Special Declaration under Article 34(6) to allow individuals and NGOs to access the Court directly,” Lady-Justice Imani Daud Aboud, African Court President stated during the brief ceremony.

She also reminded other States which have not ratified the Protocol and made the Special Declaration to do so. Eight States have accepted the competence of the African Court and have deposited the Declarations in accordance with Article 34(6) to allow individuals and NGOs to directly file cases to the African Court.

They are Ghana, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Malawi, Mali, Niger and Tunisia.

In the absence of such a Declaration, the application must be submitted to the Banjul Commission first, which may then – after preliminary examination – decide to refer the case to the African Court.

The following 25 States have ratified the Protocol but are yet to deposit the Special Declaration: Algeria, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Comoros, Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Libya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Madagascar, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, South Africa, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Republic of Congo.

In an a document to the Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult (CDA Consult in Tema Lady Justice Aboud noted that the African Court serves as the judicial arm of the African Union and one of the three regional human rights courts together with the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human rights.

She said the African Continental Court exists to protect human and peoples’ rights in Africa principally through the delivery of judgments.

She said the mandate of the African Court is to complement and reinforce the functions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission – often referred to as the Banjul Commission), which is a quasi-judicial body charged with monitoring the implementation of the Charter.

The African Court President noted that the African Court applies the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other human rights instruments ratified by the States concerned, “it does not have criminal jurisdiction like the International Criminal Court”.

She said the African Court bases its core values on the African Charter and other internationally recognized principles of human rights and the promotion of the rule of law.

Lady Justice Aboud noted that the African Court continues to foster and uphold the core values of judicial independence from any partisanship, bias, influence, whether it comes from States, NGOs, funding agencies or individuals.

“Fair and impartial application and interpretation of the provisions of the African Charter, the Protocol, the Rules, and other relevant international human rights instruments.

“Transparent and ethical accountability in the operations of the Court. Fundamental rights of every individual to enjoy basic civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights are upheld,” she said.

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