such a conclusion have been articulated with sufficient clarity in this
Judgment. Moreover, the Court should have first pronounced itself on the
issue of its jurisdiction to deal with the two app li cations before
considering the issue of the admissibility of the said applications; it
should equally have set aside more substantial developments to the
treatment of these two important issues.


Jurisdiction of the Court

2. The Court has first to ensure that it has the jurisdiction to deal with an
Application before considering its admissibility. It has to do so proprio

motu even if the Respondent State has not raised a preliminary objection
in that regard. In the exercise of its contentious function, the Court can
indeed only use its jurisdictional powers against State Parties to the
Protocol and within the limits set by that instrument regarding the status
of entities entitled to refer matter to it and the type of disputes that can be
submitted to it. It is only when an application is filed against a State Party
to the Protocol and within the limits set by the said Protocol that its
admissibility could be considered by the Court. Besides, it is in that
chronological order that issues of j urisdiction and admissibility are dealt
with in the Protocol (Articles 3 (I), 5 and 6; see also Rule 39 of the Rules
of Court).

3. In the Brief in Response to the Application of the Ist App licants, the
Respondent raised two objections on the admissibility of the Application;
in its Brief in Response to the Application of the 2"d Applicant, the

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