AU Assembly should consider human rights implications before adopting the Amending Merged African Court ProtocolPosted: 23 May, 2012 Filed under: Frans Viljoen | Tags: African Court of Justice, African Court of Justice and Human Rights, African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, African regional human rights system, criminal responsibility, Draft Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), erode existing avenues for human rights redress, incompatible mandates, reduction of focus on and resources available, state responsibility 7 Comments
Author: Frans Viljoen
Director, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria; Professor of Human Rights Law
A radical change to the ever-altering African regional judicial landscape is looming large. Meeting in Addis Ababa in mid May 2012, the African Union (AU) ‘Government Experts and Ministers of Justice/Attorneys General on Legal Matters’ adopted the AU – Final Court Protocol – As adopted by the Ministers 17 May (Amending Merged Court Protocol, Exp/Min/IV/Rev.7, 15 May 2012). This draft will in all likelihood serve before the meeting of the AU Heads of State and Government (AU Assembly), to be held in July, in Malawi. If adopted by the AU Assembly, the Protocol will confer upon the to-be-established African Court of Justice and Human Rights the jurisdiction to convict and sentence individuals for international crimes. This paper aims to highlight some concerns, particularly from a human rights angle, about the Amending Merged Court Protocol, in its current form, and argues that the complex implications arising from the suggested amendments require more deliberation and broad inclusive discussion.