African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights
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Politics and government of
the African Union
The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights (AfCHPR) is a regional court that was created to make judgments on African Union states' compliance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. It came into being on January 25, 2004 with the ratification by fifteen member states of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Establishing the AfCHPR. The AU discourages prosecution of human rights abuses in the International Criminal Court, hoping that they would be tried by the AfCHPR instead; but the AfCHPR has achieved very little.
- Collect documents and undertake studies and researches on human and peoples’ rights matters in Africa;
- Lay down rules aimed at solving the legal problems relating to human and peoples’ rights;
- Ensure protection of human and peoples’ rights; and
- Interpret all the provisions of the Charter.
The Court is located in Arusha, Tanzania, at the Phase II of the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Conservation Centre Complex along Dodoma Road
Election of Judges 
On January 22, 2006, the Eighth Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union elected the first eleven Judges of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights.
Judges are normally elected for six-year terms and can be re-elected once. The President and Vice-President are elected to two-year terms and can be re-elected once.
The Court had its First Ordinary Session from July 2–5, 2006 in Banjul, The Gambia.
Member states of the protocol establishing the Court, as well as the African Commission and African inter-governmental organisations, may bring before the Court applications against members states of the protocol.
Individuals and NGOs with observer status before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, however, can file applications only against members states accepting that specific option (as of 2013, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Tanzania and Rwanda).
On December 15, 2009, the Court delivered its first judgment, finding an application against Senegal inadmissible. As at 2013, all of final judgments of the Court are of the same nature.
Composition of the Court 
|Sophia A.B. Akuffo||Ghana||Vice-President||2006||2014|
|Elsie Nwanwuri Thompson||Nigeria||Member||2010||2016|
|Sylvain Ore||Côte d'Ivoire||Member||2010||2016|
|Augustino S. L. Ramadhani||Tanzania||Member||2010||2016|
|Modibo Tounty Guindo||Mali||Member||2006||2012|
|Bernard Ngoepe||South Africa||Member||2006||2014|
|Joseph Nyamihana Mulenga||Uganda||Member||2008||2014|
Former Judges 
|George W. Kanyeihamba||Uganda||Member||2006||2008|
|Jean Emile Somda||Burkina Faso||Member||2006||2008|
|Hamdi Faraj Fannoush||Libya||Member||2006||2010|
|El Hadji Guissé||Senegal||Member||2006||2010|
|Kelello Justina Mafoso-Guni||Lesotho||Member||2006||2010|
Planned merger with the African Court of Justice 
On July 1, 2008, at the African Union Summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Heads of State and Government signed a protocol on the merger of the AfCHPR with the still non-existent African Court of Justice following a decision by member states at a June 2004 African Union Summit. As of 27 January 2011, only three countries have ratified that protocol, out of 15 needed for its entry into force. The new court will be known as the African Court of Justice and Human Rights.
See also 
- European Court of Human Rights - regional court originally established in 1950
- Inter-American Court of Human Rights - regional court established in 1979
- List of Linguistic Rights in Constitutions (Africa)
- Linguistic rights
- Official website of the African Court on Human and People's Rights
- Biographies of AfCHPR Judges
- African International Courts and Tribunals Website
- Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights
- African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights: Ten years on and still no justice (2008), London, Minority Rights Group
- Coalition for an Effective African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights
- The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, American Society of International Law, ASIL Insight, September 19, 2006, Volume 10, Issue 24
- "The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights: An Introduction", a lecture by Mr. Frans Viljoen, Professor of International Human Rights Law at the University of Pretoria, in the Lecture Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law
- Protocol to the African Charter on Human And Peoples' Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, 9 June 1998.
- "Justice for dictators: History rules". The Economist. 21 April 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2012. "Yet the African Union (AU) asks its 54 members not to co-operate with the court, and wants the Security Council to “defer” (ie, abandon) its cases against Mr Bashir and in Kenya. Instead, the AU says Africans should prosecute their own tyrants. But that requires properly functioning courts, a rarity on the continent. The AU’s own African Court of Justice and Human and People’s Rights has made almost no progress."
- Rwanda deposits the declaration allowing individuals direct access to the Court
- Judgment in the matter of Michelot Yogogombaye versus the Republic of Senegal, 15 December 2009.[dead link]
- Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, 1 July 2008.
- Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, Status list, 27 January 2011.