The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the European Court of Human Rights and the lnter-American Court of Human Rights, at the Dialogue among Regional Human Rights Courts
25 to 26 May 2023
The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the European Court of Human Rights and the lnter-American Court of Human Rights, meeting in San José, Costa Rica, from 25 to 26 May 2023 on the occasion of the Dialogue among Regional Human Rights Courts:
Re-affirming their commitment to the principles and objectives contained in their respective regional human rights instruments: the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the European Convention on Fundamental Rights and Freedoms and the American Convention on Human Rights; and in other relevant international human rights instruments;
Taking into account the historical context of institutional and jurisprudential dialogue, the prior collaborative work and joint efforts among the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the European Court of Human Rights, and the lnter-American Court of Human Rights, which have facilitated the exchange of conceptual and jurisprudential standards from each court for the mutual benefit of their respective systems;
ln consideration of the Declaration of San Jose of 18 July 2018 where the three courts affirmed that the aim of their institutional dialogue would be to strengthen the protection of human rights and access to international justice of the people under their respective jurisdictions, to contribute to state efforts to strengthen their democratic institutions and human rights protection mechanisms, and to overcome the common challenges and threats to the effective validity of human rights by working together;
ln light of the Declaration of Kampala of 29 October 2019, which underscored the importance of enhancing dialogue and sharing jurisprudence with national courts as one of the mechanisms for ensuring reference by national courts to the regional courts’ judgments and contributing to the enforcement of these judgments in the long run;
The three Courts agreed on the following:
1 . The States of the three regions under their respective jurisdictions must ensure the effective protection of democracy, human rights and sustainable development as they are essential to preserve peace and the respect of the dignity of the human being.
2. Democracy, good governance and effective access to justice and independence of the judiciary are essential for the protection and realization of human rights and effective democracy underpinned by the rule of law.
3. The need to promote and safeguard the independence and impartiality of their judicial systems and ensure the integrity of judges in their respective regions. This includes strengthening mechanisms for the selection and appointment of judges, guaranteeing the security and protection of judges against pressure or undue direct or indirect interference, and promoting an impartial and transparent administration of justice.
4. To recognize the importance of strengthening coordination and collaboration among regional courts. To reaffirm their commitment to contribute to a permanent dialogue and consultation mechanisms to exchange experiences, knowledge and best practices in the interpretation and application of their respective regionaI human rights instruments.
5. The need to consolidate joint efforts to promote and disseminate regional human rights standards in the respective regions. This includes the organization of collaborative workshops, seminars and conferences, as well as the production of informational and educational material to raise awareness of human rights and their protection. The three Courts will continue with the publication of the joint annual case law reports. Each Court will, as far as possible, organize an annual seminar (virtual or on-site) on relevant topics addressed to the general public in which it will disseminate their case law developments.
6. To renew the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Kampala in October, 2019 for an extension of a further six (6) years.
Appreciate the African Court of Human and People’s Rights’for hosting the next lnternational Human Rights Forum in 2025.
Recognize the support of the German lnternational Cooperation for providing the much appreciated financial support for this meeting.
Signed in San José, Costa Rica, on May 26,2023.