n African Human Rights Law Journal - A watershed moment for African human rights : at the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



This article examines the case of before the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights. The application centres on Tanzania's prohibition on independent candidates running for public office, with the applicants alleging that this prohibition violates article 2 (freedom from discrimination), article 10 (freedom of association) and article 13(1) (the right to participate in government) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. The case is the first to be decided on its merits at the African Court, the first to find in favour of the applicants and the first to consider the issue of reparations and damages. The article examines the arguments of both the applicants and Tanzania, including Tanzania's reliance on the 'claw-back' provisions found in articles 27(2) and 29(4) of the African Charter, before assessing and analysing the African Court's findings. The article highlights the African Court's findings that are likely to require further clarification in the future, as well as the possible precedents that the findings set. The article concludes by stating that, while the African Court should be commended for the delivery of its first judgment on the merits, Tanzania's approach to the judgment could be indicative of difficulties the African Court will encounter as it enters an era of judgment compliance by member states.

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