African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights Dodoma Road PO Box 6274 Arusha UR of Tanzania Internet: www.african-court.org Tel: +255 732 979 509 Fax: +255 732 979 503 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/African-Court-on-Human-and-Peoples- Rights/354165574594815 Twitter: @AfricanCourt YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/africancourt Registrar: Robert Eno, Cameroon (appointed in January 2012) purpose The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) has jurisdiction over all cases and disputes submitted to it concerning the interpretation and application of the: • African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which is the main African human rights instrument • Protocol that established the Court • Any other relevant human rights instrument ratified by the State Party concerned. The Court was established in 1998 to complement and reinforce the functions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The Court can make binding decisions, including orders of compensation or reparation, while the Commission can only make recommendations. Under article 5 of the 1998 Protocol establishing the Court, the Commission, State Parties to the Protocol and African inter-governmental organisations are entitled to submit cases to the Court. Non-governmental organisations with observer status before the Commission and individuals from State Parties that have made a declaration accepting the jurisdiction of the Court can also institute cases directly in accordance with article 34(6). As of 1 September 2014, 27 states had ratified the Protocol (see www.au.int/en/treaties for the full list). evolution The Court was established by article 1 of the Protocol to the Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which was adopted in June 1998 by OAU members, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The Protocol came into force on 25 January 2004, 30 days after it had been ratified by 15 Member States. The first judges were elected in January 2006, in Khartoum, Sudan, and were sworn in before the AU Assembly on 2 July 2006, in Banjul, Gambia. The Court officially started operations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in November 2006. In August 2007, it moved to Arusha, UR of Tanzania. The Court initially dealt mainly with operational and administrative issues. Interim Rules of Procedure were adopted in June 2008 and final Rules of Court in 2010. The first application was received in 2008, first judgment delivered in 2009 and first public hearing held in March 2012. structure The Court consists of 11 judges elected by the AU Assembly from African jurists nominated by State Parties to the Protocol. The Assembly considers equitable geographical, legal tradition and gender representation. The judges serve in their personal capacities. They are elected by secret ballot for six-year terms, renewable once (with the exception of some of those elected at the first election). No two judges may be of the same nationality. The judges elect a president and vice-president who serve two-year terms, renewable once. The composition of the Court and election of judges is governed by articles 11 to 15 of the Protocol establishing the Court. The President of the Court works on a full-time basis while the other 10 judges work part-time. A registrar assists the President with managerial and administrative work. The Court sits four times a year in two-week ordinary sessions. Extraordinary sessions may also be held. president Augustino Stephen Lawrence Ramadhani, UR of Tanzania Elected President in September 2014 for a two-year term First elected as Judge of the Court in July 2010 for a six-year term vice-president Elsie Nwanwuri Thompson, Nigeria Elected Vice-President in September 2014 for a two-year term First elected as Judge of the Court in July 2010 for a six-year term Note 1 Gérard Niyungeko, Burundi, was the first President of the Court, 2006–08, and re-elected President for 2010–12. Jean Mutsinzi, Rwanda, was President 2008–10. Sophia A B Akuffo, Ghana, was President 2012–14. Judges In order of precedence: Gérard Niyungeko, Burundi1 Elected in 2006 for a six-year term; re-elected in July 2012 for a six-year term Fatsah Ouguergouz, Algeria Elected in 2006 for a four year term; re-elected in July 2010 for a six-year term Duncan Tambala, Malawi Elected in July 2010 for a six-year term Sylvain Oré, Côte d’Ivoire Elected in July 2010 for a four-year term; re-elected in June 2014 for a six-year term El Hadji Guissé, Senegal Elected in January 2006 for a four-year term; re-elected in July 2012 for a six-year term Ben Kioko, Kenya Elected in July 2012 for a six-year term Solomy Balungi Bossa, Uganda Elected in June 2014 for a six-year term Rafaa Ben Achour, Tunisia Elected in June 2014 for a six-year term Angelo Vasco Matusse, Mozambique Elected in June 2014 for a six-year term African Court of Justice/African Court of Human Rights and Justice The AU Constitutive Act provided for an African Court of Justice to be established as one of the AU’s principal organs. The Protocol of the Court was adopted in July 2003.2 However, the Court did not become operational. The AU Assembly decided at its July 2008 Summit to merge the African Court of Justice and Human Rights with the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (see previous entry) into an African Court of Justice and Human Rights. The Assembly adopted the 2008 Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice to merge the courts (Assembly/AU/Dec.196 (XI)). Article 28 of the 2008 Protocol provides that the African Court of Justice and Human Rights shall have jurisdiction over all cases and legal disputes that relate to “the interpretation and application of the Constitutive Act, Union treaties and all subsidiary legal instruments, the African Charter and any question of international law”. Notes 1 President 2006–08 and 2010–12. 2 The 2003 Protocol on the African Court of Justice entered into force in February 2009, 30 days after 15 Member States had ratified it. As at 1 September 2014, 44 Member States had signed the Protocol (most recently South Sudan on 24 January 2013) and 16 had ratified it (most recently Gambia on 30 April 2009). In June 2014, the Assembly adopted a further Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights (Assembly/AU/Dec.529(XXIII)). Transition to the new Court will begin after 15 Member States have ratified the 2008 Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights. As at September 2014, 30 states had signed the 2008 Protocol (most recently Madagascar on 31 January 2014) and five had ratified it (most recently Benin on 28 June 2012).
African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
African Union Commission Department of Social Affairs PO Box 3243
Roosevelt Street (Old Airport Area) W21K19
Chairperson: Prof. Benyam Dawit Mezmur, Ethiopia
Secretary: Mariama Mohamed Cisse, Niger (appointed in 2007)
The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) draws its mandate from articles 32–46 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC), which was adopted by the OAU Heads of State and Government on 11 July 1990 and came into force on 29 November 1999. The Charter provides for an 11-member committee of experts. The Committee is supported by a secretariat.
The Committee’s functions, as set out in article 42 of the Charter, include to:
1. Promote and protect the rights enshrined in the Charter, particularly:
(i) collect and document information, commission inter-disciplinary assessment of situations on African problems in the fields of the rights and welfare of children, organise meetings,
encourage national and local institutions concerned with the rights and welfare of children, and where necessary give its views and make recommendations to governments
(ii) formulate and lay down principles and rules aimed at protecting the rights and welfare of children in Africa
(iii) cooperate with other African, international and regional institutions and organisations concerned with the promotion and protection of the rights and welfare of children.
2. Monitor the implementation and ensure protection of the rights enshrined in the Charter
3. Interpret the provisions of the Charter at the request of a State Party, an AU/OAU institution or any other person or institution recognised by the AU/OAU
4. Perform other tasks as entrusted by the Assembly.
The Committee is convened twice a year and an extraordinary session can be convened if necessary.
The 11 members serve in their personal capacities. They are elected by the Assembly in a secret ballot from a list of people nominated by States Parties to the Charter (ACRWC Charter, article 34). Candidates are required to be of high moral standing, integrity, impartiality and competence in matters of the rights and welfare of children. Under the Charter, terms are for five years and members may be re-elected, following the amendment article 37(1) of the Charter which provides for members to be elected for five-year terms, renewable once.
Bureau members are elected from within the Committee for two-year terms (ACRWC Charter, article 38).
Members and Term of Office
July 2015 to July 2020
Prof. Benyam Dawit Mezmur, Ethiopia
Mrs. Maria Mapani-Kawimbe, Zambia
Mrs. Marie Christine Bocoum Dikere, Côte d'Ivoire
Mrs. Goitseone Nanikie Nkwe, Botswana
Mrs. Aver Gavar, Nigeria
Dr. Clement Julius Mashamba
May 2013 to May 2018
Mr. Joseph Ndayisenga, Burundi
Mrs. Azza Ashmawy, Egypt
Mrs. Sidikou Aissatou Alassane Moulaye, Niger
Mrs. Suzanne Aho-Assouma, Togo
January 2016 to January 2021
Mr. Mohamed Ould Ahmedoudit H'Meyada, Mauritania
Bureau November 2015 to November 2017
Chairperson: Prof. Benyam Dawit Mezmur, Ethiopia
First Vice-President: Mrs. Maria Mapani Kawimbe, Zambia
Second Vice-President: Mr. Joseph Ndayisenga, Burundi
Third Vice-President: Mrs. Azza Ashmawy, Egypt
Rapporteur: Mrs. Marie Christine Bocoum Dikere, Côte d'Ivoire
Mrs. Goitseone Nanikie Nkwe, Botswana