PROCEDURE
Jurisdiction
Temporal jurisdiction and continuing violation

The Court does not have jurisdiction over alleged human and peoples’ rights
violations which occurred prior to the coming into force for the state concerned of the
African Charter and the Protocol establishing the Court or any declaration made under
it, ‘unless in circumstances where such violation bears a continuous character’
(Tanganyika Law Society, The Legal and Human Rights Centre v The United
Republic of Tanzania, application 009/2011; Reverend Christopher R. Mtikila v The
United Republic of Tanzania, application 011/2011, judgment, 14 June 2013 para 22;
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights v Kenya, application 006/2012,
Judgement, 26 May 2017, paras 64 & 65). In Zongo the Court held that it did not
have jurisdiction to deal with alleged violations of the right to life with regard to
extrajudicial executions prior to the entry into force of the Court Protocol
(Beneficiaries of late Norbert Zongo, Abdoulaye Nikiema alias Ablasse, Ernest Zongo
and Blaise Ilboudo & The Burkinabe human and peoples’ rights movement v Burkina
Faso, application 013/2011, order, 23 August 2012, para 68).
Where the alleged violations occur after the ratification of the Charter, the Court will
have jurisdiction on the matter (Peter Joseph Chacha v The United Republic of
Tanzania, application 003/2012, judgment, 28 March 2014 para 126; Lohé Issa
Konaté v Burkina Faso, application 004/2013, judgment, 5 December 2014 paras 3840).
The Court retains jurisdiction over violations occurring before the declaration under
article 34(6) of the Protocol where the violations are continuous and persist after the
respondent states makes the declaration (Chacha v Tanzania para 126; Wilfred
Onyango Nganyi & 9 others v Tanzania v The United Republic of Tanzania,
application 006/2013, judgment, 18 March 2016 para 66; Beneficiaries of late Norbert
Zongo, Abdoulaye Nikiema alias Ablasse, Ernest Zongo and Blaise Ilboudo & The
Burkinabe human and peoples’ rights movement v Burkina Faso, application
013/2011, order, 23 August 2012, paras 76-77).
In the Mtikila case, the Court found that although Tanzania had not ratified the
Court’s Protocol at the time of the alleged violation, it had ratified the African Charter
at the time of the purported violation. As such, the Court held that the Charter having
been in operation at the time of the alleged violation, the respondent state was duty
bound by its provisions. It also held that the barring of independent candidates which
was the conduct complained against was a continuous act which subsisted until the
coming into force of the Court’s Protocol. Therefore, the Court found that the
applicants’ complaints alleging violations of articles 2, 10 and 13(1) of the African
Charter fell within its jurisdictional competence (Tanganyika Law Society, The Legal

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