Dar es Salaam, 03 November 2021: The Republic of Guinea Bissau has ratified the Protocol establishing the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and has simultaneously deposited a Declaration under Article 34(6) of the Protocol to allow individuals and Non-Governmental Organisations to access the African Court directly.
Guinea Bissau’s Ratification and Declaration was officially handed over on Tuesday 3 November 2021, by her representative, Mr. Alamara Quessangue, to a representative of the Office of the Legal Counsel of the African Union Commission, Ms Tsion Bhergano, during the Conference on the Implementation and Impact of Decisions of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Guinea Bissau’s move brings to eight the number of countries which have made the Declaration.
The Republic of Niger had earlier deposited its Declaration at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 28 October 2021.
The other States that have Declarations that are in effect are: Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Ghana, Malawi, Mali and Tunisia.
Guinea Bissau’s delegation received accolades when handing over the Declaration to the representative of the Office of the Legal Counsel and the President of the Court, Honourable Lady-Justice Imani Aboud, at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre.
Lady-Justice Aboud lauded Guinea Bissau and Niger, stating that they will go a long way in enhancing confidence in the Court and ultimately the protection of human and peoples’ rights on the continent.
Prior to the commencement of the Conference, Lady-Justice Aboud led a sensitisation visit to the Republic of Niger 21-23 October 2021 during which His Excellency, President Mohamed Bazoum reiterated his country’s strong commitment to the protection of human rights and to the mandate of the African Court as the only continental judicial body of the African Union.
The Court, that is celebrating 15 years since it became operational, was established by virtue of Article 1 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 Protocol was adopted on 9 June 1998 in Burkina Faso and entered into force on 25 January 2004. The Court officially started its operations in November 2006 following the election of the first Judges in January 2006 and their swearing in, in July 2006.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. The Court is composed of 11 Judges, nationals of Member States of the African Union elected in their individual capacity.
2. The Court meets four times a year in Ordinary Sessions and may hold an Extra-Ordinary Sessions.
Further information on the Court can be obtained from the Court’s website at www.african-court.org.
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