Protocol on the African Human Rights Court

41

Protocol to the African Charter on Human and
Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African
Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (1998/2004)
Adopted in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on 10 June 1998 and entered into force on
25 January 2004. In terms of this Protocol, the protective mandate of the African
Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights is complemented by the establishment
of an African Human Rights Court. The first judges were sworn in during the July
2006 Summit of the AU in Banjul, The Gambia. The seat of the Court is Arusha,
Tanzania. This Protocol will be replaced by the Protocol on the Statute of the
African Court of Justice and Human Rights, reprinted below, once the latter has
entered into force. As of August 2016 seven states (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte
d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, Mali and Tanzania) had made a declaration under art
34(6) allowing direct access for individuals and NGOs to the Court. Rwanda
withdrew its declaration in March 2016.

The member states of the Organization of African Unity hereinafter referred
to as the OAU, state parties to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’
Rights:
Considering that the Charter of the Organization of African Unity recognises
that freedom, equality, justice, peace and dignity are essential objectives for
the achievement of the legitimate aspirations of the African peoples;
Noting that the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights reaffirms
adherence to the principles of human and peoples’ rights, freedoms and
duties contained in the declarations, conventions and other instruments
adopted by the Organization of African Unity, and other international
organisations;
Recognising that the twofold objective of the African Charter on Human and
Peoples’ Rights is to ensure on the one hand promotion and on the other
protection of human and peoples’ rights, freedoms and duties;
Recognising further, the efforts of the African Commission on Human and
Peoples’ Rights in the promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights
since its inception in 1987;
Recalling Resolution AHG/Res 230 (XXX) adopted by the Assembly of Heads of
State and Government in June 1994 in Tunis, Tunisia, requesting the
Secretary-General to convene a Government Experts’ Meeting to ponder, in
conjunction with the African Commission, over the means to enhance the
efficiency of the African Commission and to consider in particular the
establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
Noting the first and second Government Legal Experts’ Meetings held
respectively in Cape Town, South Africa (September 1995) and Nouakchott,
Mauritania (April 1997) and the Third Government Legal Experts Meeting held
in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (December 1997), which was enlarged to include
diplomats;
Firmly convinced that the attainment of the objectives of the African Charter
on Human and Peoples’ Rights requires the establishment of an African Court
on Human and Peoples’ Rights to complement and reinforce the functions of
the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
HAVE AGREED as follows:

Select target paragraph3