African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights

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The Mauritius Oil Spill: Using Africa’s ‘judicial environmentalism’ as an avenue for redress?

Since the MV Wakashio ship ran aground on 25 July this year, Mauritius has been facing an unfolding human and environmental disaster. Up to 100,000 Mauritians took to the streets in late August to protest against the State’s handling of the disaster, one of the largest protests in the country in over 40 years. In this post we explore the potential for Mauritians to use the African human rights system to address the State’s handling of the oil spill, and whether the acts and omissions of Mauritius potentially violated the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter), which includes environmental rights. Such a route may be underexplored but it is not without precedent. This post will review the occurrence of ‘Judicial environmentalism’ before Africa’s Regional Economic Community (REC) Courts and two of the main bodies in the African human rights system: the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission), and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Court). Context There were thousands…

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Another One Bites the Dust: Côte d’Ivoire to End Individual and NGO Access to the African Court

On 29 April 2020, the government of Côte d’Ivoire issued a press statement announcing its decision to withdraw the right of individuals and NGOs to submit complaints directly to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (‘the Court’). This right was granted in 2013, when it deposited a special declaration with the Court in accordance…

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‘Victim of its commitment … You, passerby, a tear to the proclaimed virtue’: Should the epitaph of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights be prepared?

In a letter dated 21 April, the Government of Benin informed the African Union of its decision to withdraw the declaration made under Article 34(6) of the Ouagadougou Protocol establishing the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. As the Court recalled in its first judgment, direct referral by an individual or an NGO is subject…

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Individual and NGO Access to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights: The Latest Blow from Tanzania

  Recently, reports emerged (here and here) that the Tanzanian government withdrew its declaration allowing individuals and NGOs to directly submit applications against it at the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR). Tanzania’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Prof. Palamagamba Kabudi signed the notice of withdrawal on 14 November 2019, and…

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An Arusha-based World Court on Human Rights for African States?

  The Arusha-based African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACtHPR) enjoys a distinctively broad contentious jurisdiction extending to ‘all cases and disputes submitted to it concerning the interpretation and application of the Charter, this Protocol and any other relevant Human Rights instrument ratified by the States concerned’ (Article 3(1) of the Protocol to the African Charter on…

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