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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 with Article 34(6) of its Protocol. According to the statement, Côte d’Ivoire will withdraw its declaration but remain a Party to the Court’s Protocol. This means that, once the withdrawal takes effect, the Court will still be able to hear complaints against it, but only those submitted by the African Commission, other State Parties to its Protocol and African intergovernmental organisations. With this decision, Côte d’Ivoire becomes the third country in just 6 months to announce an end to individual and NGO direct access to the Court. This follows Tanzania and Benin, who officially withdrew their declarations on 14 November 2019 and 21 April 2020 respectively (discussed here and here). This article…

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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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ICC Appeals Chamber Holds that Heads of State Have No Immunity Under Customary International Law Before International Tribunals

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has, this morning, issued what seems to be an extremely controversial decision on Head of State Immunity. At the time of writing, the full written judgment is not yet available in the appeal by Jordan against the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber referring that state to the UN Security…

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Looking for Middle Ground on the Immunity of Al-Bashir? Take the Third ‘Security Council Route’

On 10-14 September, the Appeals Chamber (AC) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) held hearings in the appeal of Jordan against the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) II entitled ‘Decision under article 87(7) of the Rome Statute on the non-compliance by Jordan with the request by the Court for the arrest and surrender o[f] Omar Al-Bashir’ of…

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The Rise and Rise of Political Backlash: African Union Executive Council’s decision to review the mandate and working methods of the African Commission

The latest African Union (AU) Summit, held in Nouakchott, Mauritania, from 25 June to 2 July 2018, has left the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) severely undermined. The Executive Council adopted Decision EX.CL/Dec.1015(XXIII), which endorses some worrying recommendations that emanated from the joint retreat, held in June, by the ACHPR and the Permanent…

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