Tema, The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights has embarked on a three-day sensitisation visit to Kenya to encourage the government to fast-track the process to deposit the Declaration that allows individuals to access the Court directly.

The team includes the African Court President, Lady Justice Imani Daud Aboud; the Vice President, Justice Sacko Modibo; the Registrar, Dr. Robert Eno; and key Registry staff.

Lady Justice Aboud stated in a statement to the Ghana News Agency that the African Continental Court’s success as a continental mechanism for human rights protection, established by the African Union Member States themselves, depended on wider acceptance and recognition of its work by African countries.

She stressed that ‘This universal acceptance and recognition will provide the Court with the legitimacy it needs to effectively fulfil its mandate.’

Lady Justice Aboud noted that the visit was also to raise awareness about the African Court, encouraging ratification of the Protocol and deposit of the Declaration to grant individuals and NGOs direct access to the African Court.

The African Court delegation also used the opportunity to educate potential applicants on accessing the Court and its procedures, promote public utilization of the Court for settling human rights disputes, and encourage the Court’s utilization for advisory opinions.

The African Court delegation paid courtesy calls on various dignitaries, including the President of Kenya, Dr. William Samoei Ruto, and the Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court, Lady Justice Martha Koome.

Other personalities engaged during the sensitization visit are the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Moses Wetangula; the Speaker of the Senate, Amason Jeffah Kingi; the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, Dr. Alfred Mutua; the Attorney General, Justin B.N. Muturi; and the Chairperson of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Roseline Odede.

This sensitization visit to Kenya marked a significant step, as the Court had previously undertaken a similar visit in July 2013.

According to the African Court document, Kenya became a State Party to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on February 18, 2005, but has yet to deposit the Declaration under Article 34(6) of this Protocol, allowing individuals and Non-Governmental Organisationss direct access to the Court.

Currently, only eight African Countries have deposited the Declaration, allowing individuals and NGOs direct access to the African Court: Ghana, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Malawi, Mali, Niger, and Tunisia.

The African Court complements the protective mandate of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to enhance human rights protection on the continent.

The primary objective of these sensitization visits is to enhance the protection of human rights in Africa.

The African Court is composed of eleven Judges who are nationals of Member States of the African Union, elected in their individual capacities.

It convenes four Ordinary Sessions per year and may also hold Extraordinary Sessions.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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