The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Court) has equipped 40 lawyers registered with it on ‘legal grounds for representing Indigent applicants before it.’
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The three-day training at Arusha, Tanzania equipped the lawyers with the African Court’s judicial and operational aspects and also updated the lawyers on the legal aid scheme.
It was organised by the African Court in collaboration with the European Union, which forms the fourth batch of lawyers to be trained since 2017.
So far more than 110 lawyers from different parts of the African Continent have benefited from the training.
Lady Justice Imani Daud Aboud, African Court President, explained that the overall objective of the training was to enhance and build the capacity of Counsel to be able to effectively represent Applicants before the Court.
“The lawyers were also updated on the new Rules of Court and other important procedures and aspects of the African Court,” Lady Justice Aboud stated at the end of the training.
African Court document obtained by the Ghana News Agency in Tema specifies who qualifies to file cases before it and indicates that it may receive cases filed by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Others are State Parties to the Protocol or African Intergovernmental Organizations, and non-governmental organizations with observer status before the African Commission and individuals.
According to the African Court, as long as the State against which the application is brought has deposited the declaration recognizing the jurisdiction of the Court to accept cases from individuals and NGOs.
The African Court has material jurisdiction over allegations relating to violations of human rights contained in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights or any other human rights instrument ratified by the State concerned.
Material Jurisdiction is satisfied if the allegations relate to violations of human rights contained in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights or any other human rights instrument ratified by the State concerned.
According to the African Court document, the application should, indicate the names and addresses of the person designated as the Applicant’s representative; include a summary of the facts of the case and of the evidence that will be adduced,and indicate clear particulars of the Applicant and of the party or parties against whom the Application has been brought.
It must also specify the alleged violation; demonstrates the evidence of exhaustion of local remedies or the inordinate delay of such local remedies; indicates the orders or injunctions sought and whether an Applicant on his/her behalf or behalf of the victim wishes to be granted reparations.
The African Court was established under Article One of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the establishment of an African Court, to complement the protective mandate of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, to enhance the protection of human rights on the continent.
It is composed of eleven Judges, nationals of the Member States of the African Union elected in their capacity, and meets four times a year in Ordinary Sessions and may hold Extra-Ordinary Sessions.