The Judges of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights have organised a virtual sitting to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work of the Continental Court.
The African Continental Court took the advantage to discuss and adopt measures to ensure safety of staff and business continuity of the Court.
The African Court noted with appreciation that the President, Justice Sylvain Ore, was invited to and did represent the Court at the funeral of late Justice Ramadhani.
On the working conditions of staff at the Registry, the African Court commended the Registry COVID-19 Task Force for the measures put in place to ensure staff safety and business continuity.
It urged the Registrar to remain vigilant and not hesitate to take further measures if necessary.
On the organisation of its 57th Ordinary Session, the African Court resolved to hold the session virtually from June 1 to 26 and instructed the Registrar to take all necessary measures to ensure a smooth session.
The African Court considered the draft agenda of the session and decided to formally adopt when the session begun.
The Court expressed regret on the decision of Benin and Côte d’Ivoire to withdraw their Article 34(6) Declarations, which recognized the jurisdiction of the Court to receive cases directly from individuals and NGOs with observer status before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and reiterated its commitment to independence, objectivity and loyalty in the discharge of its mandate.
It expressed solidarity with the governments and people of Africa during these difficult moments and said even in the midst of a pandemic, justice and respect for human rights must never be compromised.
The African Court is composed of eleven judges, nationals of Member States of the African Union elected in their individual capacity. It meets four times a year in Ordinary Sessions and may hold Extra-Ordinary Sessions.
The Virtual meeting was preceded with the observance of a minute silence in honour of some distinguished personalities who passed away this year.
They are late Justice Augustino Ramadhani, a former President of the Court, who passed on April 28, in Dar es Salaam, and Dr Augustine Mahiga, Minister of Constitutional and Legal Affairs of Tanzania, who died on May 1, in Dodoma.