n African Human Rights Law Journal - Observations on the Rules of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights

Volume 14, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights was established by the 1998 Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. On 2 June 2010, its Rules of Court came into force. Rules of procedure are designed to supplement and fill in any gaps in the parent treaty. They are an essential part of the workings of many international bodies, including judicial organs. These Rules, which have a bearing on important aspects of the Court's functioning, are discussed in this article. The article does not undertake an exhaustive analysis of the whole set of Rules; it focuses on those Rules that may help to clarify or not, as the case may be, any obscurities or difficulties associated with the parent Protocol. The contribution covers the Rules pertaining to the composition of the African Human Rights Court; the Court's contentious procedure; and the Court's advisory opinions mandate. In the discussion, the Court's Rules are linked to those of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. The analysis concludes that the Rules of Court of the African Human Rights Court largely correspond to those of other regional courts. Although there are gaps and omissions, the Court has embarked on a process of addressing these issues through its jurisprudence, although at times raising questions of its own.

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