The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ 49th Ordinary Session started on Monday to examine 15 applications over the next four weeks.
The Judges are expected to give five Judgments and hold three Public Hearings from today April 16 to May 11, at Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania, a statement signed by Dr Robert Eno, the African Court Registrar and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra stated.
The African Continental Court is composed of eleven Judges, nationals of Member States of the African Union elected in their individual capacity.
The Court meets four times a year in Ordinary Sessions and may hold Extra-Ordinary Sessions. As at April 1, 2018, the African Court had received 166 applications and has finalized 37.
The African Court established by African countries to ensure protection of human and peoples' rights in Africa complements and reinforces the functions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.
The African Court 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), which was adopted by Member States of the then Organization of African Unity (OAU) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in June 1998.
The Protocol came into force on January 25, 2004 after it was ratified by more than 15 countries.
States Parties to the Protocol had made the declaration recognizing the competence of the African Court to receive cases from NGOs and individuals.
The seven states are Ghana, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Malawi, Rwanda and Tanzania.
The following thirty states have ratified the Protocol: Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Lesotho, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Nigeria, Niger, Rwanda, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, South Africa, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia and Uganda.
The African Court has jurisdiction over all cases and disputes submitted to it concerning the interpretation and application of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (the Charter), the Protocol and any other relevant human rights instrument ratified by the States concerned. Specifically, the Court has two types of jurisdiction: contentious and advisory.